To say that Congress lost the 2017 assembly elections in the four largest cities of Gujarat would be an understatement. The truth is that the party was roasted. This in spite of the fact that Congress won one more seat in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot cities, and even its vote-share was higher, as compared with 2012 polls.In the 2012 assembly elections, Congress had won three out of 36 seats in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, and Vadodara cities. It had won two seats in Ahmedabad, and one in Rajkot.Move forward to 2017, the Congress won four out of the 36 seats, all of them in Ahmedabad. Voters in Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot firmly backed the BJP, as a result of which Congress failed to win a single seat in these cities.A closer look at the election results shows that Congress failed to add to its tally despite a 2.5% rise in its vote-share in the four cities over 2012 polls.In 2012, Congress had a vote-share of 31.7% in the 36 urban seats of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot. This has gone up to 34.2% in 2017 polls.The vote share of BJP, which won only 99 out of 182 assembly seats, its worst performance in the state since 1995, was unchanged in the four cities at 61%. In other words, in spite of the simmering anger over demonetisation and GST, Congress failed to draw away voters from BJP, and the higher vote share was at the cost of other parties and independent candidates.In the 2017 assembly elections, of the 60.20 lakh votes cast in the 36 urban seats of the four large cities of Gujarat, BJP got 36.77 lakh votes, and Congress 20.56 lakh.In 2012 polls, BJP had got 32.65 lakh out of 53.65 lakh votes case, while Congress had got a little over 17 lakh.Though overall BJP’s vote share remained steady in the four key cities, the analysis reveals different patterns in each city.In Ahmedabad for instance, BJP’s vote-share declined from 62.50% in 2012 to 60.3% in 2017, and Congress’s share rose from 31% to over 35.5% – not surprising given that it won two more seats in the city over the previous elections.In Surat, both parties saw their vote share going up. BJP’s share was up from 60% to 62.6%, and that of Congress up from 30.6% to 32.8%.In contrast, vote share of both parties declined in Vadodara city, whereas in Rajkot, from where Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was among the candidates, BJP’s vote share surged sharply, and that of Congress fell somewhat.IN NUMBERSAhmedabad: 14-2 for BJP in 2012; 12-4 for BJP in 2017Surat: 12-0 for BJP in 2012; 12-0 for BJP in 2017Vadodara: 5-0 for BJP in 2012; 5-0 for BJP in 2017Rajkot: 2-1 for BJP in 2012; 3-0 for BJP in 2017

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Vote share rise only silver lining for Congress in urban seats