The 2022 Gujarat assembly elections have been different in many ways. For the first time, a third party (AAP) other than the BJP and Congress has played a significant role in the Gujarat assembly elections. This time in Gujarat, there was a struggle for power between the BJP, Congress, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). AIMIM has also tried their luck on 14 seats.
AIMIM had fielded candidates in 14 seats in Gujarat where Muslim voters are in a higher majority. Most of these seats are traditionally called forts of Congress.
Asaduddin Owaisi had expected that the Muslims of Gujarat would welcome him with open arms. During campaigning, he visited Gujarat several times and held several meetings. The AIMIM chief’s rally received a mixed response. There was a crowd at the rally, but at the same time, they were also seen being opposed by Muslims everywhere.
Now, as the results have come out, it can be seen that the party failed miserably to make any mark in the election. AIMIM didn’t win any seat in Gujarat, and its vote share is less the 0.3%. Most of the AIMIM candidates lost their security deposit in the polls.
AIMIM in Gujarat elections
Out of the total of 182 seats, AIMIM had fielded its candidates from 14 seats. These 14 constituencies and their results are as follows:
1. Bapunagar: While AIMIN was going to contest from this constituency, their candidate Shahnawaz Pathan withdrew his candidature and backed Congress on this seat. BJP has been announced as the winner from here.
2. Bhuj: Shakeel Sama got an AIMIM ticket here and touched the mark of 15% vote share, receiving 17% votes, but he came third after BJP and Congress. BJP’s Keshubhai Patel won with more than 53% votes.
3. Danilimda (SC): AIMIM candidate Kaushika Parmar could secure a mere 1.58% votes here and lost to Shailesh Parmar of Congress who has a vote of more than 44%. BJP’s Nareshbhai Shankarbhai Vyas was the runners-up with a 35.5% vote share.
4. Daryapur: Hasan Khan Pathan alias Hasanlala, as mentioned in his candidature form, miserably lost. He could get merely around 1.42% of the votes with less than 2000 votes. BJP won this seat while Congress stand second.
5. Godhra: Mufti Hasan Kachba contested the seat known for the massacre that took place in 2002. He had to be satisfied with a 5.1% vote share. He lost to CK Raulji of the BJP who secured above 50% votes here which is almost ten folds more than the AIMIM candidate. Congress candidate Rashmitaben Chauhan was in the second spot with over 32% votes.
6. Jamalpur-Khadia: Sabir Kabuliwala apparently made a significant impact on the Congress vote share here as he received more than 12 per cent of the total votes. But this was insufficient to defeat Imran Khedawala of Congress who clearly took away a major share of the Muslim votes and won the seat. BJP’s Bhushan Ashok Bhatt was in the second position.
7. Khambhaliya: Yaqoob Bukhari of AIMIM stood nowhere in competition with others from this constituency. He received just 733 votes, which is 0.4% of the total votes polled. Ayar Mulubhai Hardasbhai Bera of BJP won this seat with over 40% of votes, while Congress was in second place with 23.5%.
8. Limbayat: Abdul Basir Sheikh of AIMIM received less than 3% votes here. BJP’s Sangitaben Patil has secured victory with over 53% votes, while AAP candidate Pankajbhai Tayade came second with a 21% vote share. The Congress candidate was in the third position.
9. Mandvi: Mohammad Iqbal Manjaliya of AIMIM stood fourth on this seat with a 5% vote share whereas Aniruddha Dave of the BJP emerged as the winner with more than 53% votes.
10. Mangrol: Sulaiman Patel of AIMIM received around 7.5% votes, registering over 10000 votes. Bhagvanbhai Kargatiya of the BJP is a winner from the seat, while Congress came second with 26% and AAP was third with over 23% vote share.
11. Sidhpur: Abbasbhai Nodsola contested on the AIMIM ticket and secured less than 1% votes here. BJP won the seat while Congress came second in another close contest.
12. Surat East: AIMIM candidate Wasim Qureshi got a mere 1671 votes here, which is a 1.2% vote share. BJP’s Arvind Rana won from Surat East with over 52% votes. In this seat too, Congress candidate Aslam Cyclewala got a majority of the Muslim votes with a 42.4% vote share.
13. Vadgam (SC): Kalpesh Sundhia fought this seat for AIMIM. But the main tussle here was between Jignesh Mewani of Congress and Manibhai Vaghela of the BJP. In the end, Jignesh Mewani emerged as the winner in a close fight.
14. Vejalpur: Zainab Bibi Shaikh of AIMIM received just 1.01% votes on this seat, with just 2310 votes. BJP’s Amit Thaker won from Vejalpur with over 56% votes.
It can be seen from the data that AIMIM failed to mark its presence in the Gujarat assembly elections with a nominal vote share in the seats where the party contested. Its vote share in the state is less than 0.3%, while newcomer AAP has got almost 13% of the votes polled in the state. AAP has won 5 seats in Gujarat, marking as the third-largest party in the state in terms of both the number of MLAs and vote share.
AIMIM had fielded contenders in almost all Muslim-dominated seats. And these seats were largely occupied by Congress MLAs earlier. BJP has succeeded in most of these seats, with a few won by Congress. The main seats where AIMIM contested were Jamalpur-Khadia, Danilimda, Daryapur, and Vadgam.
Worrying that AIMIM would cut its Muslim votes, Congress started spreading the word that AIMIM was the B team of the BJP and Owaisi was an agent of the RSS. And they were largely victorious in spreading the word.
Even before the second phase of polling, the Shahi Imam of Ahmedabad’s Jama Masjid had made a statement to the media that Muslims should not allow division in their votes. He asked Muslims to vote for congress instead of AIMIM.
During the course of the election campaign, people opposed Owaisi at many places across Gujarat by waving black flags and chanting ‘Go Back’. These places include Surat and Ahmedabad.