Jasdan by-election: BJP's Kunvarji Bavaliya wins by massive margin of 19,985 votes
Ahmedabad, Dec 23: BJP leader Kunvarji Bavaliya, a minister in Chief Minister Vijay Rupani's cabinet, on Sunday won the by-poll in Gujarat's Jasdan assembly seat by defeating Congress Avsar Nakiya by a massive margin of 19,985 votes.
The election was necessitated after Bavaliya quit Congress and joined the BJP in July this year. He had won from Jasdan on a Congress ticket in Gujarat Assembly elections 2017. He resigned as MLA and joined the BJP in July. Bavaliya had won the seat on Congress ticket in 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007 and 2017.
Kunvarji Bavaliya is an influential leader from the Koli community. After quitting Congress, Bavaliya was immediately made a cabinet minister in the Vijay Rupani government in July. As per rules, a minister has to get himself/herself elected to the Assembly within six months of taking oath.
Kunvarji Bavaliya's opponent, Avsar Nakiya, had been his close aide for over 20 years. Nakiya was a close associate of Bavaliya and many thought he would cross over to the BJP, when Bavaliya quit the Congress earlier this year. He has held several positions in the Rajkot district unit of the Congress party in the past two decades.
Jasdan by-election highlights:
Bavaliya is a four time MLA from Jasdan. He says he is confident of a win, but the Congress says that the people will not elect a deserter.
In the 2017 poll, the BJP faced a tough challenge and also lost ground to the Congress in Saurashtra. Issues such as farm distress and unemployment helped the Congress win 79 seats in 2017. In the 2012 election, the Congress had won 61.
The by-polls in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes in the wake of a drubbing the BJP got in the recent state elections. The BJP lost to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.