Gandhinagar: The ruling BJP has taken a massive lead in Gujarat as counting of votes is underway for 182-member Gujarat Assembly, the latest trends of the Election Commission showed.
According to the latest updates of the poll panel, the BJP has so far won 97 seats, and is leading in 59 seats.
Among prominent candidates from the saffron party who registered victory in their respective seats are Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel from Ghatlodia and Hardik Patel from Viramgam.
The CM has retained the seat trouncing his nearest rival Congress candidate A Yajnik by a massive margin of over 1.9 lakhs votes. Patel, who was leading since initial rounds of the counting, polled 2,13,530 votes, while Yajnik secured 21,267 votes.
Hardik Patel, who switched over to the BJP few months before the announcement of the elections, won by a margin of 51,707 votes defeating AAP’s AA Thakor.
Opposition Congress which was eyeing to return to the power, has so far bagged seven seats, and is leading 10 constituencies.
As per the Election Commission, Congress nominee and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, who was trailing from Vadgam in the early rounds of counting, has taken a lead against his nearest rival BJP’s MJ Vaghela. He is leading by 3,947 votes.
New entrant, Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP has so far won four seats and is leading in one seat, the trends showed.
AAP’s Isudan Gadhvi, whom the party announced as its CM candidate, is trailing in the Khambhalia seat. In the early trends, he took a lead over BJP’s Ayar Mulubhai Hardasbhai Bera.
According to the poll panel, Samajwadi Party won one seat, while Independent won three seats.
Meanwhile, the CM has expressed his gratitude to the people of Gujarat for the party’s stupendous victory.
“People of Gujarat have again supported the politics of ‘development’. I thank the people of the state for reposing faith in BJP again,” Patel said while addressing the BJP workers at the party’s state headquarters.
The BJP had won 99 seats and the Congress had won 77 seats in 2017.