#IndiaDecidesOn18th: Incumbent Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani wins Rajkot (West)
Leading from front, incumbent CM Vijay Rupani won Rajkot (west) by around 25,000 votes. Though he was initially trailing against Congress's Indranil Rajguru, he made an impressive comeback. Rajkot, Saurashtra's financial hub, has been BJP's bastion since 1985. Modi contested and won his first-ever election from here. As 75,000 of 3L voters are Patels, who are agitating for quotas, this was a tough fight.
Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani wins his first-ever election
Bespectacled independent candidate Jignesh Mevani, who received tacit support from the Congress has won Vadgam. He defeated BJP's Vijaykumar Harkhabhai Chakravarti. In 2016, Mevani became the face of the Dalit movement after four Dalit youths at Una were tortured by cow vigilantes. Since then, he has been campaigning for Dalit land rights. This is a big win for Mevani who contested his first-ever election.
Congress's Shaktisinh Gohil loses Mandvi
Gujarat's RSS bastion Mandvi in Kutch didn't disappoint BJP. Virendrasinh Jadeja defeated Congress's Shaktisinh Gohil to continue BJP's 10-year run. Veteran Congressi Gohil had attacked BJP for lack of rail connectivity and Narmada water in the mineral-rich region. He was also relying on the support of Muslims, Dalits and Kadva Patels. Meanwhile, BJP had claimed they had invested Rs. 1,200cr in developmental works.
Deputy CM Nitin Patel manages to hold onto Mehsana
Mehsana, the seat of the 2015 Patidar reservation agitation, has elected BJP heavyweight Nitin Patel over Congress's Jivabhai Patel. Deputy CM Nitin, considered close to former CM Anandiben Patel, sought to off-set the "Hardik Patel threat." He reportedly said that Hardik is misguiding Patidars. Nitin, who was earlier trailing, just managed to hold on to Mehsana, which has been with BJP since the 1990s.
OBC activist Alpesh Thakor wins Radhanpur
Alpesh Thakor, who contested on a Congress ticket, has won Radhanpur in Patan district. He defeated BJP candidate, Lavingji Thakor. Unlike grassroot-leaders Hardik and Mevani, Alpesh is Congress leader Khodabhai Patel's son. However, he has his own identity as a campaigner against liquor addiction and OBC activist. He came to limelight through the Ekta Manch that mobilized SCs, STs and OBCs.
BJP state chief Jitu Vaghani wins Bhavnagar (West)
The Bhavnagar (west) constituency was a tough fight for BJP state chief Jitu Vaghani. This constituency is a Patel and Kshatriya stronghold. To ensure Vaghani's defeat, the two communities put their weight behind Congress candidate, Dilipsinh Gohil. Karadiya Rajputs (42,000 voters) also held a grudge against Vaghani over land disputes. However, BJP had strong support among Kolis, who are equal to all three combined.
In a high-stake battle, Congress bigwig Arjun Modhwadia loses Porbandar
Porbandar, Mahatma Gandhi's birthplace, saw former Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia take on agriculture minister Babu Bokhiriya again. The two have clashed since 1998 assembly elections. With Bokhiriya clinching this win by 1855 votes, he leads their contests 3:1. Until now, Modhwadia only won in 2002. To ensure a Congress win, Rahul had campaigned here, promising the fishing community a separate fisheries ministry.