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Congress Opens Gujarat Account After A Decade, Dismantling BJP Stronghold

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The Congress is set to open its account in Gujarat after a decade with a crucial victory from the Banaskantha Lok Sabha seat. The BJP won all 26 Gujarat seats in the 2014 and 2019 elections, but will fall short of repeating a clean sweep by just one seat.

Congress’s Geniben Thakor is ahead of the BJP’s Rekhaben Chaudhari in Banaskantha by a margin of over 30,000 votes, shows the latest counting data.

Ms Thakor is a two-time MLA and the only woman representative of the Congress in the Gujarat Assembly. She crowdfunded her deposit, encouraging her constituents to help her financially with funds as low as Rs 11. She promoted her QR code to receive donations and reached out to voters beyond the traditional party mechanisms.

Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, is a BJP stronghold and has had BJP government in power since 1995. Mr Shah, who contested from state capital Gandhinagar, won by a margin of nearly 7.5 lakh votes.

Banaskantha, from where Ms Thakor won, has been a traditional stronghold of the BJP. In 2014, the BJP’s Haribhai Chaudhary won the seat with 620,228 votes, defeating Congress’s Joitabhai Patel, who won 394,221 votes.

The victory margin increased from 2.26 lakh in 2014 to 3.55 lakh in 2019 with the BJP’s Parbatbhai Patel securing 716,825 votes against his Congress rival Paranjayadityasinh Parmar, who received 361,112 votes.

 The Congress is set to open its account in Gujarat after a decade with a crucial victory from the Banaskantha Lok Sabha seat.    

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