Parties like Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), JD(U), Lok Janshakti Party, NCP and Left parties like the CPI(M) have decided to participate in the Gujarat election and the Congress is apprehensive that some of these parties can eat into its secular vote. Some of these parties also contested the elections in 2007. The JD(U) had won just one seat while the BSP could not bag any. The NCP had won three seats.
The BJP, which is currently in power in Gujarat, is not assured either. Parties like Gujarat Parivartan Party led by rebel leader Keshubhai Patel and Shiv Sena, which share similar ideologies with the saffron party, will also contest the election.
Another major factor in the Gujarat election this year is that a number of constituencies out of the 182 seats has been re-drawn and the delimitation could be a deciding factor in this year's poll.
The delimitation of the 60 constituencies was carried out on the basis of the latest census and the recommendations of the 2002 delimitation panel was approved by the President in 2008. Both the BJP and Congress are uncertain about the results in the reorganised constituencies owing to changes in the demography and voter profiles on grounds of caste and religion.
In the 2007 elections, winners in over 20 seats were separated from the losers by a margin of less than 5,000 votes.
The Congress, however, said that the voters of Gujarat were comfortable with two-party system.