Ahmedabad: The Congress party’s three biggest candidates in the 2017 Gujarat assembly elections suffered the ignominy on losing for the second state election in a row, although the margins of their losses this time remained below 10,000 votes.
Arjun Modhwadia lost from the Porbandar seat for the second consecutive time to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Babubhai Bokhiria. A former leader of the opposition in the state assembly as well as state president for the Congress, Modhwadia had won the seat in 2002 and 2007, while Bokhiria had previously won it in 1995 and 1998. Modhwadia’s loss this time was by just 1,855 votes.
Siddharth Patel, a prominent Patidar face in the Congress and the son of former chief minister Chimanbhai Patel, lost by 2,839 votes to the BJP’s Shailesh Sotta, who ran for a place in the Gujarat assembly for the first time. Patel had won the Dabhoi seat in 1998 and 2007, but had lost it in the 2002 and 2012 polls.
Shaktisinh Gohil, a national spokesperson for the Congress and the outgoing member of the Gujarat legislative assembly from Abdasa, lost by a margin of 9,046 votes to Virendrasinh Jadeja of the BJP from the Mandvi seat in Kutch. In 2012, Gohil lost the Bhavnagar rural seat that he had previously won in 1990, 1995 and 2007, but won a 2014 by-election for the Abdasa constituency after Chhabilbhai Patel defected from the Congress to the BJP.