Bellwether Valsad Gears Up For BJP-Cong Head-to-Head Fight


The coastal seat has a reputation, earned over decades, that the party which wins here, goes on to form government at the Centre or is part of the ruling coalition…reports Asian Lite News

It is a bellwether seat in Gujarat with a sizeable tribal population in Gujarat and both BJP and Congress have fielded new candidates.

The coastal seat has a reputation, earned over decades, that the party which wins here, goes on to form government at the Centre or is part of the ruling coalition.

Valsad, like other Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat, will go to the polls on May 7 in the third phase of Lok Sabha eletion. BJP has won the Valsad seat for the last two successive polls and is seeking a hat-trick.

Valsad is expected to see a direct battle between Congress and the BJP. Five of the seven assembly seats in the constituency are reserved for Scheduled Tribes. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BJP’s KC Patel had defeated Congress’ Chaudhari Jitubhai Harjibhai from Valsad.

Congress has only one MLA – Anant Patel – in the assembly seats falling in the parliamentary constituency and he will fight the Lok Sabha polls for the party. The BJP has also replaced its candidate and given the ticket to Dhawal Patel, national social media incharge of the party’s ST Morcha. He is author of two books on the tribal community.

Dhawal Patel said he is happy that the party has expressed faith in a young person like him.

He said he has been touring seven assembly seats in Valsad and there is high enthusiasm among voters.

“We will win with a very high margin. BJP will win all 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat,” he said.

Congress candidate Anant Patel said he has the support of other parties in the INDIA bloc also.

“We are visiting people in all constituencies and offering solutions to their problems. We will hold door-to-door campaign and hold meetings. We will move forward together with youth, farmers, women and the unemployed,” he said.

In the 2019 general elections, BJP’s KC Patel secured 7,71,980 (61.2 per cent) votes, Congress’ Jitubhai Harjibhai got 4,18,183–(33.2 per cent) and Kishorbhai Ramanbhai Patel (BSP) got 15,359 (1.2 per cent votes).

Dang, Vansada, Dharampur, Valsad, Pardi, Kaprada and Umbergaon fall in the Valsad parliamentary constituency.

Locals said that mobile network, unemployment, erosion in coastal areas are some of the problems here. Agriculture and Horticulture are major enterprise in the Valsad district. Major crops of district are mango, sapota, banana, paddy, sugarcane, pulses and vegetables brinjal,chilli, tomato and cucurbits). Dairy, poultry, fishery and forestry are some allied agro-based enterprises

Valsad district is surrounded by Navsari district in the north, Nasik and Thane districts of Maharastra in the east and South respectively and the Arabian sea in the West.

Valsad seat has a strong reputation of being the bellwether seat in Gujarat and for a solid reason. From 1998 to 2004, Manibhai Chaudhary of the BJP contested and won the elections from here and the BJP-led government was in power at the Centre in two stints till 2004.

From 2004 to 2014, Kisanbhai Patel of Congress won the elections from the Valsad seat and the Congress led the UPA government at the Centre for a decade.

The BJP has won the seat from 2014 and party-led government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been in power at the Centre for the past 10 years. (ANI)

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