New Delhi: The high-octane campaign for the first phase of polling in Gujarat Assembly elections ended on Thursday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a rally in key constituency of Surat and BJP President Amit Shah touring Saurashtra. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s rallies for Thursday were cancelled due to the cyclone Ockhi. Opinion polls show the BJP winning Gujarat again but by a smaller margin than last time.
Voting would be held on July 9 in 89 of the state’s 182 constituencies. The rest will vote on July 14. Politically crucial Saurashtra and South Gujarat would be going to polls on Saturday. Some of the key districts going to polls in first phase are Rajkot, Amreli, Morbi, Kutch and Surendranagar. Polling would be held in 24,689 polling stations and a total of 977 candidates, including 57 women are in fray from 50 parties as well as independents.
The polls to this state which has been a BJP bastion would be crucial and it has seen the coming of age of Mr Gandhi as a politician who would soon be elevated to the position of the Congress president. Mr Modi on the other hand is the son of the soil and the BJP is working hard to protect his image for the sake of “Gujarati Asmita”.