Junagadh (Gujarat) [India], November 26 (ANI): Jawahar Chavda, the BJP's candidate from the Manavadar Assembly seat in the Junagadh district of poll-bound Gujarat, said he was confident of winning the seat and of his party winning the December 1 and 5 polls by a handsome margin.
Chavda, who left the Congress for the BJP, will shoulder the latter's hopes in a constituency he delivered to the grand old party in 2017.
The 2017 Assembly elections saw him trounce Nitinkumar Valjibhai Fadadu of the BJP by a margin of 29763 votes.
On the BJP's chances of winning the seat this year, Chavda told ANI, "The BJP lost this seat in 2017 as I was with the Congress. But since I am with the BJP now, it will win."
Chavda was one of the four Congress leaders who switched alleginace to the BJP after it won the 2017 Assembly polls.
Handed a BJP ticket to contest the 2019 Assemby bye-election in the Manavadar segment, he delivered a win to the saffron camp and was made a minister for Tourism and Fisheries by the then Vijay Rupani government in March, 2019.
On the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) entering the fray this year and making the battle for Gujarat a three-horse race, Chavda told ANI, "For the last 32 years that I have been here, winning five elections, the AAP was nowhere in the picture. The Congress doing its best to wrest the seat this time but the people here how I always stand with them."
On whether caste equations will have a big role to play in determining the outcome of the Assembly polls in the Saurashtra region, Chavda said, "I think work will speak louder than caste. I belong to the Ahir community, which is a minority in Manavadar. But I am hopeful that people across castes will vote for me."
Considered an influential leader from the Ahir community, Chavda was first elected to the Assembly on a Congress ticket from Manavadar in 1990.
On the Congress' ongoing 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' and its relatively subdued campaign in Gujarat as compared to the ruling BJP and even the AAP, Chavda told ANI, "I think the 'Bharat Jodo' is useless. The country became one after the scrapping of Article 370 (in Jammu & Kashmir). The feeling I had when I was with the Congress is that it doesn't want to win."
A four-time MLA, Chavda won the Manavadar constituency in 1990, 2007, 2012 and 2017.
The counting of votes for Gujarat's 182 Assembly constituencies will take place on December 8. (ANI)