The BJP has won the assembly bypoll in Gujarat by nearly 20,000 votes. The Jasdan election result is being seen as a major victory for the BJP, which recently lost power in three states in the Hindi heartland. The Jasdan election result is also the third time that the BJP has won the seat after Gujarat was formed in 1960.
The BJP candidate Kunvarji Balavliya polled in 90,268 votes, which is 19,985 votes more than his nearest rival Congress nominee Avsar Nakiya who polled in 60,565 votes in his favour.
Polling for the Jasdan assembly seat in Rajkot district, held on December 20, witnessed a voter turnout of 71.27 per cent.
The bypoll has become a battle of prestige between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress in the wake of the latter winning the just held assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that the victory in Jasdan is a clear indication that BJP will win all 26 seats in Gujarat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
"This victory is a clear indication that BJP will win 26 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership. People of Gujarat are with BJP and they are prepared to make Narendra Modi the Prime Minister again," Mr Rupani said.
Thank you very much Jasdan. This is a victory of sustainable trust people of Gujarat have put in BJP lead Governments at the centre and the state. Congratulations to Shri @kunvarjibavalia & @BJP4Gujarat karyakartas who worked tirelessly to ensure this victory. pic.twitter.com/9lIfYbZjBs- Vijay Rupani (@vijayrupanibjp) December 23, 2018
The by-election was necessitated after Mr Bavaliya, an influential Koli community leader who had won the seat on a Congress ticket in 2017, resigned from the party and joined the BJP.
Mr Bavaliya was made a Cabinet minister in the BJP government the same day. The BJP fielded him for the by-election from Jasdan, which has a sizeable Koli population.
Avsar Nakiya, who was fielded by the Congress, is contesting an assembly poll for the first time.
Mr Bavaliya had won from the Jasdan seat five times in the past as the Congress candidate - in 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007 and 2017.
Since the formation of Gujarat in 1960, the BJP has won Jasdan only once - in the by-election of 2009 when Mr Bavaliya vacated the seat after being elected to the Lok Sabha from Rajkot, news agency PTI reported.
Apart from Mr Bavaliya and Mr Nakiya, six other candidates are also in the fray.
With additional inputs from PTI