In early trends in counting of bypolls to eight Assembly seats in Gujarat on Tuesday, the BJP is leading in seven of the seats.
The bypolls were necessitated after sitting Congress MLAs resigned ahead of Rajya Sabha polls in June this year. Five of them then joined the ruling BJP, which fielded them from the same seats they had won in the 2017 elections.
The bypolls were touted as being a barometer of the popularity of the former Congress MLAs who contested on BJP tickets.
The bypolls were held on November 3 in Abdasa (Kutch), Limbdi (Surendranagar), Morbi (Morbi district), Dhari (Amreli), Gadhada (Botad), Karjan (Vadodara), Dang (Dang district) and Kaprada (Valsad) Assembly seats.
In Abdasa, BJP candidate Pradyumnasinh Jadeja was leading over Shantilal Sendhani while in Limbdi, Kirtisinh Rana was leading over Chetan Khachar. In Morbi, Jayantilal Patel of Congress was leading over Brijesh Merja of BJP. In Dhari, J.V. Kakadiya was leading over Suresh Kotadiya and in Gadhada, Atmaram Parmar was leading over Congress’s Mohan Solanki.
In Karjan, Akshay Patel of BJP was leading over Kirtisinh Jadeja of Congress; in Dang, Suryakant Gavit was leading over Vijay Patel and in Kaprada, BJP’s Jitubhai Chaudhary was leading over Babubhai Patel.
Brijesh Merja, J.V. Kakadiya, Akshay Patel, Pradyumnasinh Jadeja and Jitubhai Chaudhary were all Congress MLAs who had switched over the BJP.