18/12/2017 11:46 AM IST | Updated 18/12/2017 2:25 PM IST

Gujarat Elections 2017: CM Vijay Rupani To Retain His Rajkot (West) Seat

BJP's prestige seat.

- via Getty Images
Gujarat state Chief Minister Vijay Rupani shows his inked finger after casting his ballot during the first phase of Vidhan Sabha elections of Gujarat state at Rajkot, some 220 kms from Ahmedabad on December 9, 2017.

Gujarat Chief Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vijay Rupani is leading his Congress rival Indranil Rajguru from Rajkot (West) by over 20,000 votes, three hours after counting began in Gujarat Assembly elections 2017.

Rupani polled 46159 votes while Rajguru secured 25359 votes, as per Election Commission data.

Rupani, for whom the Rajkot (West) is a prestige seat, was trailing to Rajguru after the first hour of counting of votes. It's a seat special for the BJP for many reasons, the main being that Prime Minister Narendra Modi won his first election in February 2002 from the constituency that was earlier known as Rajkot–II.

Considered a "safe seat" for the saffron party, Modi had personally campaigned from Rajkot (West) in the run up to the elections in Gujarat. In an emotional speech, he had said it is because of the people of Rajkot he made his way to New Delhi.

After being sworn in as the Chief Minister of Gujarat in October 2001, Modi won a by-election from Rajkot-II and went on to become a legislator in the state assembly.

In Mehsana, the seat of the Patidar agitation led by Hardik Patel, Deputy CM Nitin Patel is also leading the elections against the Congress's Jivabhai Patel by over 12000 votes.

The BJP is set to retain power in Gujarat.