The story of Shaktisinh Gohil’s victory on Abdasa seat

Ahmedabad, 16 May, 2014

Congress party’s national spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil has won the Abadasa assembly seat by margin of 700 votes.

Shaktisinh who lost assembly election in Bhavnagar in general polls of Gujarat assembly in 2012, choose to contest from Abadasa seat citing Muslim+Kshatriya combination of voters. Abdasa has about 25,000 Kshatriya and about 58,000 Muslim votes. If election converted to caste based battle, victory wasn’t impossible.

Secondly, though this was an assembly by-election, it was being held along with the Lok Sabha polls across the country, so there was no chance that BJP could apply its entire strength here like previous by-polls in Gujarat.

But more than caste equations and Shaktisinh’s personal hard-work, what helped Congress was BJP’s former MLA Jayanti Bhanushali who allegedly worked against the party silently because he was denied ticket.

It is locally in public knowledge that Narendra Modi sent his elder brother Somabhai Modi to convince Jayantibhai, but Jayantibhai allegedly continued to work against the party and caused damage of votes enough to defeat BJP candidate Chhabilbhai Patel.

According to insiders, BJP had some idea about possible damage caused by Jayantibhai in Abdasa belt and therefore the party cadre worked harder in Nakhatrana belt. While Congress was leading by about 13,000 votes in Lakhpat and Abdasa, BJP gave fight in Nakhatrana and ensured about 12,300 votes lead, however this was not enough and therefore Shaktisinh won by around 757 votes.

Former BJP MLA Jayantibhai was defeated by Congress candidate Chhabilbhai in 2012 assembly polls. Later Chhabilbhai decided to join BJP and resigned from assembly which invited by-poll. So in by-poll while Chhabilbhai contested from BJP, Jayantibhai was asked to campaign for him. According to locals, this made Jayantibhai a silent rebel.

It has to be mentioned here that Shaktisinh was leader of opposition in Gujarat assembly till 2012 December. After he lost the election in Bhavnagar, he was made Congress’s national spokesperson.