If BJP and Congress were to be involved in a very close fight, guess whom lady luck would favour? If past election result statistics of close calls are anything to go by Congress should ideally be the destiny’s child in such contests.But 2017 was different with BJP and Congress seeing close contests in almost equal number of seats.This election had close contests in atleast 32 of the 182 assembly seats, three down from what it was in 2012 elections. In that election 35 seats saw close contests.For the sake of analysis, we have considered a winning margin of less than 5,000 votes as a close contest.In the year 2017, of the 32 close contest seats, BJP won 15 while Congress won 16. One close contest in Morva Hadaf was won by an independent.It should be noted that Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also tweeted about the close contests in several of the seats in Gujarat. The tweet was to show that BJP’s claim of having the backing of Gujarat was not all that it was made out to be.What is interestingly about the close contests in 2017 is that the number of seats in which the BJP won with a whisker has actually gone up. The party won by a margin of less than 5000 votes in 13 seats in 2012 assembly elections. This went upto 15 seats in 2017. Of this 15 seats, in three seats the party won by a margin of less than 1000 votes. These seats were Botad, Dholka and Godhra. Of this, in Dholka and Godhra BJP won by 327 and 258 votes.For the Congress, the close contests seats actually came down from 21 in 2012 to 16 in 2017. Of the 16, Congress won with a margin of less than 1000 votes in four seats. These four seats were Mansa, Kaprada, Deodar and Dangs. Of this Kaprada was the only one seat it won with less than 500 margin. The seat saw Congress candidate beating their rivals with a margin of just 170 votes.
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