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Gujarat elections 2017: Triangular contest in several seats

Out of 93 seats that go to polls on Thursday, at least 20 seats have three or more candidates

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Though third front has not succeeded in forming a government in Gujarat in the past three decades but it may cut into the vote share of BJP and Congress.

Out of 93 seats that go to polls on Thursday, at least 20 seats have three or more candidates.

On Sanand seat, former BJP MLA from Viramgam is contesting as independent as he did not get ticket this time. The BJP gave ticket to defected Congress MLA Karamshi Makwana's son Kanu Makwana and Kama Rathod is up in arms at BJP. Pushpaben Dabhi is the Congress candidate on this seat. Besides this, BJP dissidents Kirit Patel and Dinesh Thakor also have contested independently on Bechraji and Patan seats respectively posing the challenge to party candidate.

The muscleman and BJP candidate Madhu Srivastav has been challenged by fomer BJP president of Vadodara district Dharmendrasinh Vaghela who is contesting as independent. Former BJP leader and now Rashtriya Samajvadi Party leader Rajesh Ayre is contesting from Vadodara city's Sayajigunj seat and now the poll contest has become interesting as all three candidates have equal might.

Former Congress MLA from Godhra, Raulji who defected to BJP got the ticket and that triggered disentment in local BJP organisation, and now a mighty BJP's OBC leader Dr Jashwant Patel has thrown challenge to Raulji as independent. There are other seats like Morva Hadaf, Umreth and Kapadvanj where either BJP or Congress dissidents have been contesting as independent.

However, the unrest among BJP was recorded more than in Congress this time. When BJP leaders filed nomination as independent ignoring partyline, the BJP chief Jitu Vaghani suspended 34 of them with immediate effect. However, the BJP has also managed by sponsoring several other independent candidates which could damage Congress.

Interestingly, May it be former CM Shankersinh Vaghela led Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP) and Jan Vikalp Party or Keshubhai Patel-led MahaGujarat Janata Party (MJP) and Gujarat Parivartan Party(GPP), these fronts merged into Congress or BJP. Both were the influential leaders in Gujarat politics and had huge fan following but voters preferred BJP or Congress only.

But there are instances in which independent emerged as game spoiler. Though only a few of them got elected, others who couldnt, spoiled situation for rivals.

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