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|October 7, 1999||
BJP sweeps south Gujarat
The saffron brigade emerged victorious in the tribal-dominated Bharuch, Surat and Valsad seats of south Gujarat in the 1999 general election.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party's attention was rivetted on the Mandvi reserved seat. Chhitubhai Gamit of the Congress has won the seat seven consecutive times.
The BJP managed to eat into the huge leads posed by Gamit since the 1991 poll. In 1996, Gamit managed a lead of about 30,000 votes and that fell to 16,486 votes in 1998.
Mansinh Patel of the BJP wrested the seat this time by over 56,000 votes. Patel had lost to Gamit during the 1996 and 1998 elections.
Meanwhile, BJP candidates faced defeat in the two Union territories -- Dadra Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
Sitting BJP MP Mohan Delkar, who was denied a party ticket from Dadra Nagar Haveli, fought the election as an Independent and retained his seat, winning by 14,878 votes over his BJP rival Dilip Bhurkut.
In Daman and Diu, Dayabhai Patel of the Congress defeated sitting BJP MP Devjibhai Tandel by 3,226 votes.
Union Textile Minister Kashiram Rana thrashed Congress candidate Rupin Pachhigar on his way to what could be the highest winning margin in Surat. This will be his fifth term as MP.
Though the Surat Lok Sabha seat is large, the biggest in Gujarat, with an electorate strength of 1,950,938, Rana won by a huge 249,197 votes.
The BJP also retained its Valsad seat with an increased lead of 26,786 votes. Sitting MP Manibhai Chaudhary has been declared elected from the seat.
Chaudhary who had defeated former Union minister Uttambhai Patel of the Congress in 1996 by a slender margin of 368 votes, consolidated his position this time, winning by 17,276 votes.
Similarly, the BJP's Mansukhbhai Vasava retained the Bharuch seat by over 47,000 votes, polling 277,823 votes against his Congress rival Amarsinh Vasava's 230,743.
In 1998, the Congress lost this seat by just 11,000 votes, the lowest margin recorded in Bharuch.
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