Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and chief ministerial candidate Isudan Gadhvi lost the Khambhalia seat on Thursday by more than 18,000 votes. Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Ayar Mulubhai Hardasbhai Bera emerged as the winner while Congress candidate Ahir Vikrambhai Arjanbhai Maadam finished third.
As counting ended, Bera secured 77,305 votes, followed by Isudan Gadhvi who got 58,467 votes and Congress candidate Vikrambhai secured 44,526 votes in the high-profile Khambhalia constituency.
During the early trends, Gadhvi was leading at the end of the fourth round over Congress’s incumbent MLA Vikram Madam, while BJP’s Mulubhai Bera was trailing in third place. However, Bera surpassed his rivals in the later rounds of vote counting.
Khambhalia emerged as the key constituency in the Saurashtra region after AAP announced Gadhvi as the chief ministerial candidate, based on the ‘Choose your CM’ campaign which AAP had launched and asked people to send their choice of CM candidates.
A former TV news anchor, Gadhvi was born and brought up in Khambhalia. However, the Ahir-dominated constituency probably did not favour the former journalist as his own Gadhvi community is not numerically significant in the area. On the other hand, both the Congress and BJP candidate belong to the Ahir community. In the last several decades, no non-Ahir candidate has won from the seat.
In the 2012 and 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections, BJP won the seat, and Congress won it in a 2014 by-poll. The Congress won the seat in the 2017 Assembly elections.