Jignesh Mevani, the independent candidate from Vadgam, defeated his nearest rival, BJP’s Vijaybhai Harkabhai Chakravarti by 20000 thousand votes. The Congress did not field a candidate against the 35-year-old Dalit leader, who was also backed by Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The Congress party’s other big hope, OBC leader Alpesh Thakor also defeated his nearest BJP rival Lavingji Thakor by over 15000 votes three hours into the counting from Radhanpur in Patan district. Lavinji was a Congressman who crossed over to the BJP upset at being denied a ticket. Thakor’s father Khidaji had been a BJP worker who parted ways with the party in the mid-1990s when Shankarsinh Vaghela plot with the BJP. The 40-year-old junior Thakor is seen as an influential leader of the OBC community who rose to fame through statewide deaddiction campaigns.
Over half of Gujarat’s population are OBCs and Dalits.