Ghatlodia assembly certainly is a saffron forte in Ahmedabad city. Thus, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel will have an easy cakewalk in the constituency from where he returned in 2017 by bagging a staggeringly high 72.65 per cent of votes. The party had easily won the seat in 2012, too, when Anandiben Patel contested the seat while Narendra Modi had led the party to a stunning victory. But people have high expectations from BJP leaders, nevertheless. One 55-year-old office goer Mahesh Sharma says, “There is a need for taking steps both at the state and the central level for encouraging innovation, research and development. “Local BJP leaders and booth-level workers say the party leadership and the Chief Minister himself are aware of these issues. Thus, they say, the BJP leadership has already asked various party machinery to start working in these endeavors.
In 2012, Anandiben Patel polled 74.51 per cent of votes and easily won the seat in a multi-cornered contest. Interestingly, this seat did not exist before 2009, and hence the first electoral battle was in the elections of 2012 only. Bhupendra Patel’s selection as the new Gujarat Chief Minister in 2021 surprised BJP’s foes and friends alike. The first-time legislator is also known for telling officials and supporters that the abbreviation ‘CM’ would better mean the ‘Common man. His admirers say Chief Minister’s down-to-earth personality and practical administrative approaches have endeared him to the voters across communities and social strata. The party has been able to brave the anti-incumbency factor. The saffron party has been in power since 1995, barring a short spell of President’s Rule and when rebel Shankersinh Vaghela had led the government.
Interestingly in the list of 12 candidates released on Nov 9, the saffron party has opted for ten new faces. Only Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Jagdish Vishwakarma have been re-nominated from Ghatlodia and Nikol constituencies. Four of the 16 assembly seats in Ahmedabad in the present House are with the Congress. In major political decisions, the Lotus party has denied tickets to Social Justice Minister Pradip Parmar from Asarwa, Kishor Chauhan (Vejalpur), Rakesh Shah (Ellisbridge), Kaushik Patel (Naranpura), Balram Thavani (Naroda), Vallabh Kakadia (Thakkarbapanagar), Jagdish Patel (Amraiwadi) and Arvind Patel (Sabarmati). Former minister Pradipsinh Jadeja too, has been denied a ticket from Vatva. Great interest has been generated this year for Naroda, from where the BJP has fielded Dr Payalben Kukarni.