NEW DELHI: Though he was able to draw huge crowds at his rallies, often larger than Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the Patidar leader Hardik Patel couldn't help the Congress party wrest power from the BJP in Gujarat, results of exit-polls suggested on Thursday.
Congress was looking to create a political space for itself in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state by trying to win Patidars voters.
Hardik, who emerged as the face of the Patidar community, has assured his support the grand old party as he urged people not to vote for BJP. In return, Congress made the quota promise in its election manifesto to Patidars, who had been demanding reservation from last two years.
With Hardik on his side, Congress was eyeing at scoring big in constituencies dominated by the Patidar community, which constitutes 14 percent of the state's population.
Hoping to garner the support of various communities, the Congress had invited Patel, Thakor community leader Alpesh Thakor and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani to join hands with the party to defeat the ruling BJP.
However, the Hardik-Congress tie-up seems to have failed in yielding positive results as the exit polls by various media houses unanimously predicted a BJP victory in Gujarat.
Almost all exit polls predicted more than 100 seats for the BJP in Gujarat where the party has been ensconced in power for close to two decades now.
The ABP-CSDS exit poll by ABP News predicted a BJP victory in 117 seats as against the Congress's 64.
Today's Chanakya gave BJP 135 seats in Gujarat and predicted a measly 47 for the Congress.
India TV-VMR survey also forecast a BJP win, with the party likely to clinch anywhere between 108 and 118 seats. The Congress, it said, could win 61 to 71 seats. The News X Exit polls gave 110-120 seats to BJP and 65 to 75 seats to the Congress, leaving 2-4 seats for others.
The News Nation exit polls gave the BJP as many as 124-128 seats and the Congress between 52 to 56 seats and 1-3 for others. The Times Now-VMR Exit poll predicted 113 seats for the BJP and 66 for the Congress, with the remaining going to others.
The Republic-C Voter Exit Poll gave the BJP 108 seats and the Congress 74. The NDTV said the BJP was likely to clinch 112 seats and the Congress 70.