The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday won the Jasdan assembly bypoll in Gujarat, a significant victory after the saffron party's debacle in three core Hindi states in recent assembly elections. BJP candidate Kunwarji Bavaliya won by 19,985 votes in the prestige battle locked with Congress in the grand old party's bastion itself. Voting for the much-hyped byelection in Jasdan was held on December 20 where eight candidates were in fray to contest the polls. It was a high-stakes battle which also put to test Bharatiya Janata Party's strategy in the crucial Saurashtra region ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Jasdan in Saurashtra region's Rajkot district has been a pocket borough of the opposition Congress and Bavaliya, who is a prominent Koli community leader. The election was necessitated after cabinet minister Kunwarji Bavaliya quit the Congress to join the ruling BJP, which elevated him the same day recently. After the exit of Bawaliya, the Congress has fielded another strong candidate from the Koli community, Avshar Nakia, who is known to have a strong ground connect, which analysts had said will help him give a good fight to the BJP. Nakiya, a Rajkot district panchayat member who had once worked closely with Bavaliya, a five-time MLA, contested the assembly election for first time in his life.
LATEST UPDATES: JASDAN BYPOLL COUNTING, RESULTS
11:30 am: BJP candidate Kunvarji Bavalia wins by 19985 votes
10:47 am: BJP candidate Kunvarji Bavalia leading with 17720 votes at the end of round 13 of counting of votes
10:14 am: BJP candidate Kunvarji Bavalia leading with 11600 votes at the end of round 9 of counting of votes
9:41 am: BJP candidate Kunvarji Bavalia leading with 10,400 votes at the end of round six of counting of votes
9:19 am: As per latest updates, BJP candidate Kunvarji Bavalia leading with 2700 votes at the end of round two of counting of votes.
As per rules, a minister has to get himself/herself elected to the Assembly within six months of taking oath.
"Polling for Jasdan assembly seat in Rajkot district was held on December 20 with a voter turnout of 71.27 per cent", stated a release issued by Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer S. Murali Krishna.
The constituency has 2.32 lakh registered voters.
Bavaliya had won the seat on Congress ticket in 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007 and 2017.
Since the formation of Gujarat in 1960, the BJP has won this seat only once - in the by-election held in 2009 when Bavaliya vacated the seat after being elected to Lok Sabha from Rajkot.
Apart from Bavaliya and Nakiya, six other candidates are also in the fray.