Gujarat is sending at least 10 first-time MPs to the Lok Sabha. Here’s a primer on who they are:

Alaw graduate from Ahmedabad, Makwana (54) belongs to the Dalit ‘Vankar’ group and has been associated with BJP for nearly four decades. He has been a councilor for four terms and deputy mayor twice. He has also been the chairman of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s legal committee and had headed BJP’s Scheduled Caste Morcha in the city. His affidavit lists his total assets at around Rs 14 crore.

Bharatbhai Sutaria, BJP, Amreli

The Amreli district panchayat president, Sutariya (54) hails from the Leuva Patidar community. Educated till Class X, he has been part of the BJP since 1991 and was taluka general secretary of the party from 2009-11. He has also been taluka panchayat president and municipality in charge.

Nimbuen Bambhania, BJP, Bhavnagar

A Talpada Koli, Bambhania (57) has been a three-term corporator and two-term mayor from BJP in Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation. She has been a party worker since 2000 and was the vice president of state BJP from 2011-13. Bambhania, who was also BJP’s state mahila morcha president from 2013-21, has a bachelors in science in mathematics and a BEd degree.

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Geniben Thakor, Congress, Banaskantha

Festive offer

Thakor (48), an OBC, first proved her mettle after defeating BJP candidate, Banas Dairy chairman Shankar Chaudhary, in 2017 state elections from Vav.
She was re-elected from the seat in 2022. She has advocated for restricting cellphone use among teenage girls in her community and passed a resolution in the Assembly banning inter-caste marriages. She completed her bachelor in arts in 2020.

Jashubhai Rathva, BJP

Rathva (54), a graduate, describes himself as a social activist and businessman. He has been the sarpanch of Vansedi village in Chhota Udaipur and contested the 2017 Assembly polls unsuccessfully. He has been the BJP district president of Chhota Udaipur and has been associated with the party for nearly three decades. He had resigned from the party last April before returning to it and faces a criminal case of criminal intimidation.

Haribhai Patel, BJP, Mehsana

With an arts degree in commercial and applied art, Patel (62), a Kadva Patidar, has been a former chairman of the standing committee of Mehsana district panchayat. He has also held posts of Mehsana district BJP president.

Rajpalsinh Jadav, BJP, Panchmahal

A second-year bachelor of arts degree dropout, Jadav (43) belongs to the OBC group of Baraiya Kshatriya. He has been associated with the party for over two decades, and is a
former Panchmahal district panchayat president.

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Shobhanaben Baraiya, BJP, Sabarkantha

A retired teacher, Baraiya (50), is the wife of former Prantij MLA Mahendra sinh Baraiya, who was earlier with Congress and then joined BJP in 2022. A debutante in politics, Baraiya hails from the OBC Thakor community.

Chandubhai Shihora, BJP, Surendranagar

Educated till Class XII, Shihora (61) was formerly the BJP’s Morbi district vice president. Belonging to the Chuvaliya Koli community, he has been
associated with mass wedding functions.

Hemang Joshi, BJP, Vadodara

Joshi (33) is the vice chairman of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation’s School Board, and also works as an HR manager at a defense start-up. He has an undergraduate degree in physiotherapy, masters in human resource management and a postgraduate diploma in law. Party insiders said Joshi has close connections with senior RSS leaders and was an active member of ABVP since 2010 before joining the BJP in 2013.

Dhaval Patel, BJP Valsad (ST reserved)

Patel (37), a technocrat, reportedly caught Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attention after he wrote books titled Modi with Tribal and 75 Tribal Freedom Fighters of India. He is the national social media in charge of BJP’s tribal wing. Patel completed his BTech in computer engineering in 2008.