Gujarat Election Result 2017: Here Are The Heavyweight Candidates

Gujarat Election Result 2017: Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, SC/ST leader Jignesh Mevani and OBC leader Alpesh Thakor were among the 977 candidates who battled it out in the first phase of the elections in Gujarat

Gujarat Election Result 2017: Here Are The Heavyweight Candidates

Gujarat Election Result: Vijay Rupani contested from Rajkot-West seat

Gujarat: The Gujarat assembly election 2017 was held in two phases on December 9 and 14 in which a total of 4.32 crore people were eligible to vote. While 977 candidates fought it out in the first phase, 851 candidates contested in the second. Gujarat has 182 assembly seats. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Jignesh Mevani and Alpesh Thakor are among the 977 candidates whose futures depend on the results of the two-phased election. Counting of votes will begin today at 8am. 

Here are the key candidates in Gujarat Election Result 2017:

Vijay Rupani

Vijay Rupani, a devoted RSS member since his school days, who usually keeps a low profile, succeeded Anandiben Patel as the Chief Minister of Gujarat last year.

The 60-year-old first time lawmaker trumped all other contenders for the post. He wields considerable influence in Saurashtra, a politically significant part of Gujarat.

He contested from Gujarat's Rajkot-West seat, which has traditionally been a BJP fortress and considered safe for the ruling party, which has been representing it since 1985. This time, however, he faced a challenger in Congress' Indranil Rajyaguru, the sitting MLA from Rajkot-East and the richest candidate in Gujarat election.

Alpesh Thakor
alpesh thakor

OBC leader in Gujarat Alpesh Thakor, 40, comes from Endla village of Ahmedabad district. He founded the Gujarat Kshatriya-Thakor Sena with an aim to promote liquor deaddiction among the community. He has also founded the OBC, SC, ST Ekta Manch, a social platform to demand proper reservations for people of the respective communities, shortly after the Patidar reservation agitation.

He is seen as part of a triumvirate that includes Hardik Patel and Jignesh Mevani, young activists who have challenged the BJP government in Gujarat recently, drawing large crowds at their public rallies.

Mr Thakor contested from Radhanpur seat of Patan district. He is reported to have chosen this seat considering the sizeable Thakor, Muslim and Dalit vote base in mind but BJP has made all efforts to win the seat. 

Mr Thakor's father, Khodaji Thakore, switched from the BJP to the Congress in the mid-1990s. He denies that his first preference was the BJP. Mr Thakor is confident that the OBCs, mainly the Thakors, will vote for the Congress in key northern districts like Mehsana, Sabarkantha and Banaskantha.

Jignesh Mevani
jignesh mevani

The Dalit lawyer-activist, along with Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel and OBC leader Alpesh Thakore, has emerged as the face of resistance against the BJP, which has ruled Gujarat for the last 20 years.

Late last month, he announced he was standing for the Gujarat assembly election as an independent candidate from the Vadgam constituency of north Gujarat's Sabarkatha district, prompting the Congress to swiftly withdraw its candidate from the seat, a traditional stronghold of the party. 

The highway-side dhaba-cum-hotel is Mr Mevani's election headquarters where an assortment of young activists from in and around Gujarat and from faraway Jawaharlal Nehru University brainstorm to make the 35-year-old's maiden foray into electoral politics a success.

With around 1 lakh Muslim and Dalit voters in the 2.5 lakh-strong constituency, Jignesh Mevani, who emerged as a Dalit spearhead after organising movements against atrocities against the community in Una, was largely expected to sail through.

Shaktisinh Gohil
shaktisinh gohil 650

One of the Congress's most prominent faces in Gujarat, Shaktisinh Gohil, 57, contested against BJP's Virendrasinh Jadeja from Mandvi seat in Kutch.

Mr Gohil had lost in the 2012 elections against Purushottam Solanki from Bhavnagar Rural seat, but was re-elected to the Assembly from Abdasa in 2014 with a tiny margin of over 750 votes.

There are a significant number of minority voters in Mandvi, in addition to Dalits as well as Patidars, who will give an advantage to Congress.

Jitu Vaghani  
jitu vaghani

Jitu Vaghani, 47, unsuccessfully contested Gujarat assembly election 2007 from Bhavnagar city against senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil. He lost by a margin of over 7,000 votes.

In 2012, however, Mr Vaghani contested from Bhavnagar (West) seat, and won it with highest margin in the entire Saurashtra region. He was appointed the BJP's Gujarat president last year following previous president Vijay Rupani's appointment as the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

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