At 4 pm, BJP was headed for a clear victory – comfortably in Himachal Pradesh and with a reduced margin in a close contest in Gujarat.
In Gujarat, the BJP had won 56 and was leading in 43, a total of 99 in which it was ahead of the Congress.
The Congress had won 49 and was ahead in 28, a total of 77 seats.
Nationalist Congress Party and Independent had bagged 1 each and Bhartiya Tribal Party had won 2 seats.
- Notably, the leaders of Patidar, Dalit and OBC movements – all of which were against the BJP government and joined hands with Congress – won in their respective constituencies: Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani won Vadgam, OBC leader Alpesh Thakore bagged Radhanpur while Patidar leader Hardik Patel’s candidate Lalit Vasoya was headed for a win from Dhoraji.
- Although the BJP is set to retain hold of Gujarat, the victory margin of a majority of BJP heavyweights has shrunk while the Congress party’s vote share has shown a significant increase. The saffron party’s decision to drop some incumbent legislators and replace them with fresh faces has helped the BJP retain old strongholds, but again with reduced margins.
- Babubhai Bokhiriya, the BJP’s sitting MLA who sought re-election from the Porbandar seat against Congress veteran Arjun Modhvadia, was victorious. However, Bokhiriya’s victory margin was only1855 votes against 17146 votes of 2012.
- Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, who was trailing behind his Congress rival Jiva Patel for a long time, finally appears to be winning from his traditional Mahesana seat. However, while Nitin Patel – a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a key Patidar leader in the state – won the Mahesana seat by 24205 votes in 2012, his victory margin came down to just over 12000 votes in the current election.
- The BJP’s Mahuva MLA Raghav Makwana who had won the Mahuva seat in 2012 by a margin of 28352 votes, retained the seat with a victory margin of just 5009 votes.
- Though the BJP comprehensively won Maninagar, the seat which elected Narendra Modi in 2012, the party’s candidate Suresh Patel registered a victory margin of 75199 votes, which was lower than the margin of 86373 votes that Modi had won the seat with five years ago.
- In the Ghatlodia constituency, the BJP had fielded Bhupendra Rajnikant Patel after sitting MLA and former chief minister Anandiben Patel refused to contest the polls. Anandiben Patel had won this seat in Ahmedabad district by a massive margin of 110395 votes in 2012. However, Bhupendra Patel’s margin in the current election was around 95000 votes.
- In the Surat (East) constituency, which had seen massive protests by local traders against the GST, the BJP had replaced its sitting MLA Ranjit Gilitwala with Arvind Rana. While Gilitwala had won the seat for the BJP with a margin of 15789 votes in 2012, Rana retained the seat for the party with a marginal victory margin of just over 700 votes.
- The BJP’s vote share is pegged to be within 50 per cent while the Congress’ share is projected to cross 41 per cent, an almost 15 per cent jump from the 2012 assembly polls.