It may be just a big coincidence or the ever-changing political climate in the region, but a look at the electoral history of Valsad Lok Sabha seat in South Gujarat clearly reveals that whichever political party has managed to win this constituency has ultimately clinched power in Delhi.
Valsad, one of the 26 seats of Gujarat, due to this trend is considered auspiciously crucial for political parties. Local leaders see it as their gateway to Delhi subsequent to their party's victory on this seat. This belief of reaching the power corridor via Valsad has been validated by past records. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led BJP for the first time won the seat in 1996 which helped the party to run a 13-day-long government at the Centre. Vajpayee again got elected as prime minister in 1998 and 1999 from Valsad, which was then won by BJP.
Subsequently in 2004, Congress candidate Kishan Patel snatched this seat from BJP which helped the party to form a coalition government at the Centre. Again in 2009, Congress repeated the feat with Kishan Patel who emerged victorious by getting 7169 more votes than BJP's candidate DC Patel.
Considering the co-incidental value of the seat, BJP has fielded former health minister of the state Dr KC Patel while the Congress has repeated two-term MP Kishan Patel.
Since 1977, Congress has won the seat for five times, BJP for three and independents for two terms in ten general elections. Whenever independents won, a non-Congress, non-BJP coalition government was formed at the Centre. In 1977, Morarji Desai became the prime minister as a Janta Dal candidate won the seat.\
Valsad Lok Sabha seat has 14.95 lakh voters which includes communities like Dhodiya (3.68 lakh), Koonkana (2.27), Varli (1.89), Koli (1 lakh), OBC (1 lakh), Halpati (65 thousand), fishermen (45,000), Muslims (55,000) and Bheel 30,000. In this Lok Sabha election, ten candidates are in the fray from Valsad.
BJP candidate KC Patel believes that due to anti- incumbency factor this seat will be captured by him. "Congress candidate's lead had reduced and he won the last election with 7,000 votes approximately. So we are assured about getting this seat," said KC Patel. Patel said he has made his best efforts to win this 'lucky' seat to make Narendra Modi the prime minister of the country.
Congress candidate Kishan Patel's close aide said, "We are canvassing round-the-clock to retain this seat and we are sure that we will form the government at the Centre." Political commentator Dinesh Shukla sees this 'lucky' seat factor as a mere coincidence in the electoral stats. "Parties may believe in luck, but as far as Valsad's example is concerned it is merely a coincidental thing," Shukla said.
Also, Valsad does not possess any uniqueness which has led to this particular trend, he added.