Campaign for first phase of Gujarat assembly polls to end tomorrow evening


The campaign for the first phase of Gujarat assembly poll to be held on 89 seats of 19 districts in South Gujarat and Saurashtra-Kutch region on December 9 will end at 5pm tomorrow.

The steering for campaign for ruling BJP was in the hands of PM Narendra Modi while that for main opposition Congress was led by its leader Rahul Gandhi.
While BJP made development its main and sole poll plank Congress tried to attack it on various issues including the alleged failure of demonetization and poor implementation of GST. Rahul repeatedly attacked BJP and PM Modi for their said proximity with a handful of big Industrialists. Congress also ran a social media campaign alleging that development has gone mad in Gujarat (Vikas Gando Thayo Chhe).

BJP countered it with its campaign Hu Chhu Vikas Hu Chhu Gujarat (I am development and am also Gujarat). PM Modi himself took a counter-offensive posture and answered various allegations and questions put forth by Rahul in his rallies. He and other BJP leaders also hit out at the ‘flaws’ and blunders of the statistics in Rahul’s allegations.

From BJP apart from Modi, party president Amit Shah and a host of union ministers including election in-charge and finance minister Arun Jaitley, defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and CMs of Uttar Pradesh, MP and Rajasthan participated in the first phase campaign. On the last day tomorrow also PM Modi, Amit Shah, minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj and others would address rallies.

Congress also fielded former PM Manmohan Singh and various former union ministers including P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibbal, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and young faces like Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot and former Delhi CM Sheila Dixit etc for poll campaign. Both the parties also ran an extensive door to door campaign last month.

Though actor turned politician Paresh Rawal, Manoj Tiwary, Hitu Kanodia and Naresh Kanodia and Rajbabbar and Nagma did campaigning for their respective parties yet the campaign was not film star oriented as such. SP leader and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayavati also participated in the campaign.

PAAS leader Hardik Patel also held various rallies and road show for his anti BJP campaign.

The weather affected by approaching cyclone Ockhi however marred the campaign during its peak on December 5 and 6 with a large number of rallies including that of PM Modi, Rahul, Shah and others getting cancelled.

For the first phase there are a total of 977 candidates (57 women) in the fray with CM Vijay Rupani (Rajkot West), BJP state president Jeetu Vaghani (Bhavnagar West ), former Congress president Arjun Modhwadia (Porbandar) and senior leader Shaktisinh Gohil (Mandvi) being the prominent faces. BJP has fielded 89 candidates, Congress 87, BSP 64, SP 4, Janvikalp Morcha 48, AAP 21, JDU 14, NCP 30 Shiv Sena 25 and BLT 4. 443 were independents.

Chief Electoral officer B B Swain today said that the campaign will end at 5 pm tomorrow as per the provision of doing so before 48 hours from the polling which will take place from 8am to 5pm in both the phases. The outsiders and unauthorized people would also have to leave the constituencies.

Among the 89 seats by area, the smallest is Karanj (4 Sq.Km.) and the largest one is Abdasa (6,278 Sq.Km.). By size of the Electorate, the smallest is Surat North with 1,57,250 electors and the largest being Kamrej with 4,28,695 electors.

7 of the constituencies have a total voter base between 150000 – 200000 and remaining 82 have over 200000 voters. Of the total 2.12 crore voters 1.11 crore were male 1.01 crore female and 247 third gender. Of these 35.29 lakh were of 18-25 years 78.68 lakhs of 26-40 age group ie a total of over 50% voters were below 40 years of age. Over 27 thousand EVS with VVPAT will be used on over 24 thousand polling stations. Maximum 27 Candidates were on Jamnagar Rural seat while minimum 3 were on two seats Jhagadia (ST) and Gandevi(ST).


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