Having a diverse set of politically active communities, Patan Lok Sabha constituency is known to set the mood and inclination of voters for other seats in North Gujarat, where a neck-to-neck contest is expected between the Congress and BJP.
The seat on which Congress won in 2009, is expected to witness a keen contest this time. The Congress is banking on its prospects to win this seat.
Rathod, who left Congress ahead of 2009 Lok Sabha election to get ticket from BJP, lost to Congress candidate Jagdish Thakor with a thin margin of 18000 votes. Few months back, Rathod once again joined Congress, calling it 'home comming'. When sitting Congress MP Thakor decided not to contest election this time, Congress gave ticket to Rathod.
While Vaghela, who was a teacher by profession, is considered as a 'gentleman' and 'local' as his ancestral roots are here, Rathod, also known as 'Bhavsinh kaka' in Patan, is a force to reckon with, as he showed his prowess earlier by winning as independent MLA when denied ticket by both the parties in the past. Though Rathod has become mild now, he used to be identified as an aggressive leader in Patan.
Votes of Thakor community hold the key to victory in Patan, as out of total 15.38 crore voters here, 4.66 lakhs belong to Thakor community, making them the single largest group of voters in Patan, followed by Dalits (1.62 lakhs), Muslims (1.58 lakhs), Chaudhary (1.08 lakhs) and Patels (1.06 lakhs).
Since both Vaghela and Rathod belong to Thakor community, it is believed that Thakor votes are divided among them equally. Similarly, there is no vast difference in 7 assembly constituencies held by both the parties in Patan.
Vadgam, Siddhpur and Kankrej are having Congress MLAs, while Kheralu, Patan, Chanasma and Radhanpur are with BJP.