Gujarat Election 2022: Viramgam is one of the 182 Legislative Assembly constituencies of Gujarat. In 2017, this constituency was won by Congress party.
This time, Hardik Patel from BJP, Lakhabhai Bharwad from the Congress party, and Kuvarji Thakor from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will be contesting against each other.
Viramgam will see 18 independents contesting among the total 29 candidates from this seat, including Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who is contesting on a BJP ticket. Viramgam assembly constituency, which is part of Ahmedabad district, is considered immune to caste politics. It has been represented by leaders from different castes and religions, including a minority community. To snatch this seat from the Congress, the BJP has fielded Patidar leader Hardik Patel.
The 29-year-old Patidar leader is a native of Chandranagar village of Viramgam taluka of Ahmedabad. He was born and brought up in Viramgam town. For Hardik Patel, who switched from the Congress to BJP in June this year, this is his maiden Assembly election. His main rival is the sitting Congress MLA Lakhabhai Bharwad. In 2017, Bharwad defeated BJP's Tejashree Patel by a margin of over 6,500 votes.
Viramgam, which will go to polls in the second phase on December 5, has been with the Congress for the past 10 years. It comprises Viramgam, Mandal, and Detroj talukas of Ahmedabad.
In 2012, Tejashree Patel contested from Congress and defeated BJP's Pragji Patel. In 2017, she switched to BJP but voters didn't accept her and opted for Congress' OBC leader Lakhabhai Bharwad. So far, Viramgam has given MLAs from different castes, like Tejashree Patel (Patidar), Daudbhai Patel (Muslim) in 1980, Kamabhai Rathod (Karadia Rajput) in 2007 and Lakhabhai Bharwad (OBC).
Kunvarji, unhappy with the move, has decided to fight as an independent. He contested as an independent in 2017 and secured the fourth place with 10,800 votes. Famous Dalit activist Kirit Rathod is also in the race as an independent.
Here's a breakup of voters in Viramgam:
Total voters: nearly 3 lakh:
OBC voters: 65,000 (Thakor), Patidars or Patel voters: 50,000, Dalits: nearly 35,000, Bharwad Rabari voters: 20,000, Muslims: 20,000, Koli members: 18,000, Karadia (OBC) and Rajputs: 10,000