BJP's choice of candidate throws away this constituency
Rating: The Congress has an edge
BJP: Rohit Thakor
Congress: Kamini Rathod
Except for the 2010 by-election, Dahegam has been considered a Congress stronghold. But surprisingly BJP has not repeated sitting MLA and has instead chosen Rohit Thakor, who is believed to be an outsider. Though Thakor has tried hard to use money power, Congress candidate and Dahegam Palika President Kamini Rathod has a dynamic image. Congress' committed vote bank is an added advantage to her. Narhari Amin, a recent import to the BJP from Congress, will play a role here to help the BJP.
'Bofors' may change the game
Rating: BJP is ahead
BJP: Ashok Patel
Congress: Suresh Patel
It's a newly derived constituency in delimitation. Congress candidate and sitting MLA Suresh Patel has good influence over the voters of his old constituency, but is facing strong opposition within.
BJP has the same headache; its candidate Ashok Patel, who is known in the political circuit by his nickname Bofors, is facing internal insurgency. If 'Modi magic' works as per expectation, the aggression of Bofors may change the game.
Rural voters will decide the ruler
Rating: Advantage Congress
BJP: Shambhuji Thakor
Congress: Jugaji Thakor
Biggest in the district, this constituency spreads over 75 villages. A majority of the rural voters are facing severe infrastructural issues. The sitting MLA's inactiveness makes him unwanted here. While Congress candidate keeps contact here since many years.
Gujarat Parivartan Party may help the BJP
Rating: Slight advantage for BJP
BJP: Dr Atul Patel
Congress: Baldevji Thakor
BJP candidate Dr Atul Patel is contesting for the second time while the Congress candidate is believed to be an outsider. Moreover, the Gujarat Parivartan Party candidate too is a Thakor. It may divide Thakor votes (50,000) while BJP relies on the Patels (30,000), upper caste (17,000) and Dalits (23,000).
Modi or no Modi, Thakores of Gujarat vote for their caste candidates only.
Congress itself makes it tough
Rating: A defensive BJP has the advantage
BJP: D D Patel
Congress: Amit Chaudhary
It was a BJP stronghold but lost in the by-election. BJP has repeated its defeated candidate, while the Congress has changed its candidate. Though, Amit Chaudhary's father Haribhai is a big player, Amit himself is not. The exit of local leaders like Ishwarsinh Chavda from the Congress can help the BJP make a comeback in the constituency.
This is BJP strongman Amit Shah's native place.