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Mon. Dec 5th, 2022
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NEW DELHI: A feat achieved by two Gujarat politicians in the 2007 assembly polls will likely remain unchallenged for years to come—former irrigation minister Narottam Patel’s victory margin of 3.47 lakh votes and then state home minister Amit Shah’s by 2.36 lakh votes, report Jignesh parmar and Himanshu Kaushik.
These margins look unachievable for those in the race in 2022. Reason: the 2012 delimitation process. There are now 172 constituencies in the state where the voting population is less than Patel’s 2007 margin in Choryasi (Surat).
The delimitation exercise redrew constituencies based on the census, thereby altering the number of voters and social composition of seats. In 2007, Choryasi constituency had an electorate of 15.94 lakh, while Shah’s Sarkhej (Ahmedabad) had 10.26 lakh voters.
The number of voters in Choryasi has shrunk to 5.65 lakh after delimitation, though it’s still the highest in Gujarat.
Surat North has the lowest at 1.63 lakh.
The average number of voters in 182 seats of Gujarat is 2.70 lakh. There are only 10 constituencies where the number of voters exceeds Patel’s 2007 victory margin.
“In 2012, Sarkhej was dissolved and merged with nearby Ghatlodia and Daskroi constituencies to carve out the Vejalpur assembly seat. In the case of Choryasi, parts of the constituency were merged with the adjacent assembly seats. Even BJP’s Naroda MLA Maya Kodnani’s margin of 1.8 lakh votes in 2007 is yet to be broken in that constituency,” a senior BJP functionary said.
The effect of redrawing the boundaries was apparent in Ghatlodia, where then CM Anandiben Patel won by a margin of 1.1 lakh votes in 2012. In 2017, she vacated the seat for first-time MLA and close confidant Bhupendra Patel, who won by a margin of 1.18 lakh votes and went on to become the CM in 2021.
In 2007, Shah got 4.07 lakh votes and trounced his Congress rival Shashikant Patel. Similarly, in Choriyasi, Patel got 5.84 lakh votes.
This time, political experts said, Kodnani’s 2007 victory margin could be breached in Naroda. But the record set by Patel and Shah will stand the sands of time.

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