Sitting BJP MP Vitthal Radadia is locked in a fierce contest with NCP candidate Kandhal Jadeja, son of ‘godmother’ late Santokben Jadeja who once headed an underworld enterprise.

Both Radadia and Jadeja, who is the sitting NCP MLA from Kutiyana constituency, have a number of cases pending against them.

Radadia had won the seat on Congress ticket in 2009 but switched his loyalty to BJP ahead of the 2012 assembly elections. He was re-elected as an MP in the by-poll held subsequently.

Radadia had hit the headlines when he pointed a gun at employees of a toll booth when asked to pay the road tax.

The seat went to NCP as part of arrangement between the alliance partners.

Of the total 15.23 lakh voters in this constituency, 4.20 lakh are Patel votes, while 1.25 lakh voters belonged to Mer community. While Radadia is a Patel, Jadeja belongs to Mer community.

To curtail Jadeja's influence in his community, the BJP has made its sitting MLA from Porbandar Babu Bokhiria the in-charge of the seat.

Out of the seven assembly segments, Porbandar, Kutiyana and Manavadar have decisive Mer population, while seats like Gondal, Jetpur, Dhoraji and Keshod have sizable population of Patels.

(Agencies)

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