'Congress will make clean sweep in Gujarat', claims Modhwadia

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 13, 2012 11:00 hrs

With voting for the 87 constituencies of first phase assembly election going on in full swing, Gujarat Congress President Arjun Modhwadia on Thursday expressed confidence that his party would make a clean sweep this time.

Modhwadia said the Congress Party is fighting on its own in the Gujarat polls.

"In 2007, we (Congress) and our alliance partner, the NCP, won 64 out of 182 seats. And there were around 30 seats, which we lost by a margin of less than 3,000 votes. The difference between us (Congress) and the BJP was only three percent last time," said Modhwadia.

"And I believe that the Congress will make a clean sweep because of the efforts put in by the workers and the popularity of 'Gujarat Praja Vikas Darshan-2012' among the people," he added.

The Congress, which is making all attempts to conquer the throne of Gandhinagar, has fielded Shweta Bhatt against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the assembly polls.

Shweta Bhatt, who is the wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, will lock horns with Modi in Gujarat's Maninagar constituency.

Maninagar is a Modi stronghold and he has held this seat since 2002. Modi, who is looking at a third consecutive term at the helm in Gujarat, defeated the Congress candidate by around 75,000 votes in 2007.

Moreover, the Congress Party is also banking on the campaigns of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.

The three leaders have in their campaign speeches made all attempts to charm the voters and ensure that they back the Congress Party.

Nearly 40 percent polling has been recorded in the first phase of the polling so far.

The fate of 846 candidates will be decided in this phase, out of which 46 are women.

Prominent candidates in this phase include Keshubhai Patel, Assembly Speaker Ganpat Vasava, Gujarat BJP President RC Faldu, State Congress President Arjun Modhwadia and Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil.

Out of total 1,81,77,953 voters, there are 95,75,278 males, 86,02,557 females and 118 other voters.

For this phase, BJP has fielded candidates on all 87 seats going to the poll, whereas Congress is contesting on 84 seats.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polling. A total of 44, 579 polling stations have been set up. Moreover, it is for the first time that senior police officials from other states have been deployed by the Election Commission of India as police observers in all sensitive districts.

The polling will come to an end at 5 p.m.

The second phase of polling in Gujarat will take place on December 17. The counting of votes will take place on December 20. (ANI)

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