It may have ended up as the runner-up in Gujarat polls won by the BJP, but the Congress exacted sweet revenge of sorts with five out of the seven defectors who contested on the saffron party’s ticket losing.
In a photo-finish contest, Mr Raulji defeated his nearest rival Rajendrasinh Parmar of Congress by a wafer-thin margin of 258 votes, whereas Mr Jadeja trounced Jivabhai Kumbharvadiya of Congress by a huge margin of around 40,000 votes.
Both Mr Raulji and Mr Jadeja had won Godhra and Jamnagar (North) seats, respectively, as Congress nominees in 2012 polls.
The rebels who bit the dust against official Congress nominees are Tejashreeben Patel, Raghavji Patel, Amit Chaudhary, Mansinh Chauhan and Ramsinh Parmar.
Tejashreeben Patel, once known as a fierce critic of the BJP, lost to Congress’ Lakha Bharwad in the Viramgam seat.
Similarly, Patel went down fighting against Congress nominee Vallabh Dharaviya in his home turf of Jamnagar (Rural).
Congress rebels Mansinh Chauhan and Ramsinh Parmar were humbled by Congress nominees in Balasinor and Thasra seats, respectively.
In a tight contest, former Mansa MLA Amit Chaudhary missed the victory by over 520 votes. He was defeated by his Congress opponent Suresh Patel.
As many as 14 MLAs of the Congress, led by the former chief minister and Kshatriya strongman Shankersinh Vaghela, had resigned ahead of or after the August 8 Rajya Sabha polls in which Congress’ Ahmed Patel was a contestant.
Though the Congress had struggled to get Mr. Patel elected, the veteran leader eventually won the nail-biting contest.
Out of the 14 MLAs, three legislators–Balwantsinh Rajput, who had contested against Ahmed Patel, Tejashreeben Patel and Prahlad Patel — had joined the BJP before the Rajya Sabha elections, whereas eight others joined the BJP later.
However, Mr Vaghela, his son Mahendrasinh Vaghela, and another MLA did not join the BJP.
Out of the 11 MLAs who joined the BJP, Gohel and Prahlad Patel were denied tickets from Jasdan and Vijapur seats, respectively, whereas Balwantsinh Rajput chose not to contest the Assembly polls.
Out of the rest eight MLAs, seven were given tickets by the saffron party.
Thou Patel (Makwana), who represented Sanand seat in 2012, had shifted his loyalty to the BJP, the ruling party replaced him with his son Kanu Makwana who retained his father’s seat by defeating Congress’ Pushpa Dabhi.