BJP adds to Gujarat tally, key Congress candidates lose (Second Lead)

May 16th, 2009 - 6:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Gandhinagar, May 16 (IANS) Gujarat’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed to improve its Lok Sabha tally from the state Saturday as the Congress suffered a setback in key constituencies.
The BJP won 15 seats and the Congress 10 out the 26 seats in the state while counting in Kheda was temporarily stopped in the afternoon after a technical snag.

In the 2004 elections, the ruling party had won 14 seats to the Congress’ 12.

The biggest loss for the Congress was the defeat of central minister Shankarsinh Vaghela who lost the Panchmahals seat to BJP’s Prabhatsinh Chauhan by a margin of 2,090 votes.

Congress candidate Satyajit Gaekwad of the former royal family of Vadodara lost the Vadodara seat to Balakrishna Shukla of BJP by over 100,000 votes.

The BJP’s prime ministerial aspirant L.K. Advani won the Gandhinagar seat for the fifth consecutive time, defeating Suresh Patel of the Congress by a margin of over 100,000 votes.

The high-profile constituency had witnessed a battle among Advani, Patel, a sitting legislator from Kalol, and noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who emerged as a key campaigner for the BJP, was given a free hand in selecting candidates and the ticket was given to a number of Congress rebels.

None of the independent candidates or those of the MahaGuarat Janata Party (MJP) - formed by a splinter group of BJP rebels - won.

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