Ahmedabad, Dec 12 (UNI) The campaign trail for the second and final phase of Assembly elections ended on Tuesday, 48 hours before the voting on December 14 in 93 seats, in regions falling under north and central Gujarat.
In 2012, the Bharatiya Janata Party had won 52 while the Congress party 39 seats.
B B Swain, Chief Election Commissioner of the state, said, “The campaigning for the second phase has come to an end today at 5pm. Now, no outsiders can stay in the constituencies. They all have to leave the areas where polling will take place on December 14.”
On December 9, polling had taken place for 89 seats in the 182-member House.
Both the two major protagonists tried all possibilities to woo the voters. From the BJP side, Prime Minister Narendra Modi started the last day of campaigning by boarding a seaplane en-route to Ambaji Temple while Congress president-designate Rahul Gandhi addressed a news conference in the city after his elevation to the post.
Mr Gandhi lashed out at the Prime Minister and said, “If Modiji wants to fly on a seaplane, there is nothing wrong in it, it’s good. But it is only a distraction, what did you do for the people in the 22 years of your rule in Gujarat.” Mr Modi had visited Ambaji temple to seek blessings for the BJP.
“My campaign journey in Gujarat, which began with the blessings of Ashapura Mata, ended today with the blessings of Maa Amba. Experienced tremendous spiritual bliss and satisfaction of Karma Yog,”said Mr Modi.
Later, both the leaders left for Delhi. However, Mr Modi will come to the state on December 14 to cast his vote.
The Congress posed 14 questions related to the development of the state and also questioned the Gujarat model, a term which was coined by Mr Modi himself when he was the Chief Minister of the state.
Mr Gandhi aggressively raked up the issues of Goods and Services Tax, note ban, joblessness and education and alleged that the ruling dispensation had favoured select industrialists
Countering all the allegations levelled by the Congress leader, the saffron party questioned Mr Gandhi’s stand on the Ram Temple, Triple Talaq and the secret meeting held between Congress leaders and Pakistani officials.
Despite denial of permission, Patidar leader Hardik Patel held a roadshow on Monday and drew a huge crowd in Ahmedabad.
However, the Gujarat police have said that it will take legal action against Mr Patel for violation of the poll panel guidelines.
In this phase, 851 candidates are in the fray for 93 Assembly seats.Among the aspirants from the BJP side are, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel from Mehsana, Minister Bhupendra Chudasama (Dholka), Shankar Choudhary (Vav) while the Congress has fielded Sidhartha Patel from Dabhoi, Alpesh Patel (Radhanpur) and supported Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani as an independent candidate from Vadgam.
In the first phase, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and state BJP Chief Jitu Vaghani, Congress senior leaders Shaktisinh Gohil, Bharatsinh Solanki and Arjun Modhwadia were in the fray.
The polls are being considered as the semi-final for the 2019 general elections and crucial for both the ruling dispensation as well as main opposition party.
The BJP has the largest stake in this election since both Mr Modi and BJP president Amit Shah belong to this state while the Congress has a chance to revive its prospect after being out of power for 22 years. December 18 is set for the counting of votes.