On Sunday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) registered a win in the Gujarat by-poll election on Jasdan assembly seat. The BJP candidate, Kunvarji Bavaliya, has won the seat by defeating his rival Avsar Nakiya of the Congress party by a massive margin of 19,985 votes.
The by-election in Jasdan was necessitated after Congress MLA Kunvarji Bavaliya left the Congress and joined the hands with the saffron party- BJP. He won in 2017 Gujarat assembly elections on a Congress ticket by a margin of 9,000 votes. Bavaliya had won the seat on Congress ticket in 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007 and 2017. He shifted to BJP and won by around 20,000 votes. So, this isn’t an ordinary victory. The BJP had won the seat once the time in 2009 only after Kunvarji Bavaliya vacated the seat when he was elected to the Lower House of the Parliament from Rajkot.
In July, he left the Congress. After joining the BJP, Bavaliya was endowed with the responsibility of Water Supply, Animal Husbandry, and Rural Housing Ministry. Kunvarji Bavaliya is an influential OBC leader from the Koli community. His entry into the BJP may help the party to bring the community into its fold ahead of crucial 2019 general elections. The Koli community is influential in at least 20 assembly constituencies in Saurashtra. Also, the region sends four MPs to the Lok Sabha. In the state assembly elections, BJP did not perform well in the Saurashtra region mainly because of the Patidar community agitation over the quota issue led by Hardik Patel.
According to India Today report, Bavaliya was unhappy with the Congress, and he accused the Congress President Rahul Gandhi of playing caste politics. He was also unhappy with the way Congress party was functioning in the state. According to a PTI report, he had said, “The way Rahulji is playing casteist politics, I realised I will not be able to succeed in working in the Congress anymore. I was not getting a chance to work the way I wanted to in the Congress due to constant infighting. This government is moving ahead with a mission, and I will be able to succeed in fulfilling the expectations of people, rural populace, the poor and farmers.”
This victory is also significant as it shows that Vijay Rupani has become a leader of its own accord. The results can be seen as a reflection of people’s perception of the BJP government in the state. After the bypoll elections result, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani said, “This victory is a clear indication that the BJP will win with majority in 2019 Lok Sabha election.”
Jasdan assembly by-poll result: BJP candidate Kunvarji Bavalia wins by 19985 votes; Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani says,"This victory is a clear indication that BJP will win with majority in 2019." pic.twitter.com/JnlpD9z5wG
— ANI (@ANI) December 23, 2018
Time and again, Mr. Rupani has shown his grit and abilities as a leader. And this time again, he proved his credentials as a leader by winning a battle of prestige for the party ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. This by-election also holds significance as Gujarat is the home state of PM Modi.
For more details: Being Vijay Rupani: The Untold Story of the Meteoric rise of a Visionary