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Congress makes gains in Gujarat

May 13, 2004 15:41 IST

Erasing bitter memories of the ignominious defeat in the 2002 assembly elections, a resurgent Congress inflicted severe blows to the ruling BJP in its bastion, bagging 11 Lok Sabha seats, improving on its meager tally of five seats in the 1999 general elections.

Though the Congress failed to retain two of its seats Surendranagar and Patan, it forced several BJP MPs, including Union Minister Bhavnaben Chikhaliya, to bite the dust.

Interestingly, four of the five sitting MLAs fielded by the Congress trounced sitting BJP MPs.

Bharat Solanki, who is the deputy leader of opposition and son of former Union external affairs minister Madhavsinh Solanki, will make his maiden entry into the Lok Sabha after he humbled BJP's Jayprakash Patel in Anand in central Gujarat by 61,000 votes.

Similarly, Mandvi MLA Tushar Chaudhary, son of leader of opposition in the state assembly Amarsinh Chaudhary, emerged victorious in the tribal-dominated Mandvi (ST) constituency in south Gujarat defeating BJP's Mansinh Patel by a whooping 1.73lakh votes.

Union Minister of State for Tourism Bhavnaben Chikhaliya's hopes of a fifth consecutive victory from Junagad were shattered after she was trounced by the Congress's Jashu Barad by nearly 40,000 votes.

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