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It’s political experience versus young blood in battle for Kutch LS constituency

Updated: Apr 23rd, 2024

The Kutch Lok Sabha constituency, spanning India’s largest district, has again turned a battleground for the Lok Sabha elections. 

The BJP has fielded Vinod Chavda, a seasoned politician with a substantial asset increase over his tenure, against Congress newcomer Nitesh Lalan, a local youth leader and businessman.

This Scheduled Caste seat is witnessing a fight between an experienced candidate and a young local leader.

The Congress has chosen Nitesh Lalan, a youthful candidate from the SC community and president of the east Kutch district unit of the youth Congress to take on the sitting MP.

Lalan, who is also engaged in Gandhidham’s shipping and logistics industry, is set to contest his first election.

His nomination reflects the Congress’ strategy to infuse young blood into its ranks, aligning with MP Rahul Gandhi’s vision for the party's future.

BJP’s Vinod Chavda

On the other hand, Vinod Chavda is a formidable figure in Kutch politics.

Since winning his first parliamentary election in 2014 with 562,855 votes, he has maintained a solid electoral presence. His initial victory was against the Congress’ Dr Dinesh Parmar, who secured 308,373 votes.

Chavda repeated his success in the 2019 elections, defeating Congress candidate Naresh Maheshwari by a significant margin.

Chavda’s wealth has dramatically increased throughout his political career, reported at nearly 600% over five years, from ₹56.18 lakh in 2014 to ₹3.35 crore in 2019.

His liabilities have also surged by approximately 3,000% during this period.

A professional advocate, Chavda’s financial disclosures highlight substantial growth in movable and immovable assets, suggesting a flourishing personal financial landscape during his political tenure.

The BJP has maintained its grip over this strategic border seat for over two decades.

The electoral dynamics of Kutch have seen various shifts since the seat's inception in 1957 when the Congress first won it.

The Swatantra Party took over in 1962, but the Congress regained control with victories in 1967 and 1971.

After the Emergency, the Indian Lok Dal won in 1977, only to see Congress reclaim the seat in 1980 under late prime minister Indira Gandhi’s leadership, with Mulshankar Mehta at the helm.

In a historic 1984 election, Usha Thakkar became the first woman to win the Kutch seat on a Congress ticket.

The BJP first triumphed in 1989 and solidified its position from 1996 to 2014, claiming victory in six-consecutive elections.

The 2019 elections witnessed Vinod Chavda securing a significant win with 637,034 votes against Naresh Naranbhai Maheshwari of the Congress, who garnered 331,521 votes.

(Source: IANS)

-Edited for style

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