An SC-dominated assembly segment in Gujarat – Vadgam – has been an easy seat for the Congress to bag owing to its demographic profile with a high number of Muslim and Dalit voters. In 2017, a Dalit leader and an independent candidate Jigneshkumar Natvarlal Mevani had won the seat. In addition to this, he was supported by Congress.
This year, there is a three-way battle between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Manibhai Vaghela – who is an ex-Congress MLA from the seat from 2012 to 2017 and later quit the grand old party to join BJP – Congress candidate Jignesh Mevani and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Dalpat Bhatia. Along with this AIMIM candidate Kalpesh Sundhia is also posing a challenge to Mevani.
Meanwhile, a total of 2,60,711 people voted in the Vadgam constituency – out of which 1,33,095 were male voters, while 1,27,614 were female voters.
In 2017, 10 candidates contested for the Vadgam assembly constituency seat. This was one of the three seats won by independent candidates in Gujarat. Jignesh Mevani had won the seat by upstaging BJP’s Chakravarti Vijaykumar Harkhabhai by a margin of 19,696 votes. The top two candidates had split 93.2% of the votes between them.
While Mevani got a total of 95,497 votes, BJP’s Harkhabhai secured 75,801 votes. Independent candidate Makwana Narendrakumar Pujabhai secured 3,711 votes to finish in third place.
In the 2012 Gujarat assembly elections, Congress’ Manilal Jethabhai Vaghela had outperformed BJP’s Vaghela Fakirbhai Raghabhai by 21,839 votes.