Gujarat polls: Campaigning for first phase ends tomorrow

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 10, 2012 08:13 hrs

Ahmedabad: Campaigning for the first phase of Gujarat assembly elections will come to an end tomorrow evening.

A total of 87 constituencies spread over 15 districts from Saurashtra and south regions of the state will go to polls on December 13.

Political fate of 846 candidates, including 46 women, will be decided by over three crore, eighty lakh voters.

Adding glamour to campaigning, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has put several Gujarati film and TV artists to canvassing for party candidates.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi will be addressing two election rallies on Monday. Several Union Ministers, MPs and leaders from other states are already campaigning in different districts for party candidates. BSP supremo Mayawati also addressed an election rally at Rajkot.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh also campaigned in Gujarat. Addressing a rally in Vansada, Dr Singh appealed to the voters of Gujarat to get rid of politicians indulging in divisive politics.

"We don't indulge in politics of dividing the society like the opposition parties... Such politics cannot benefit any political party for a longer period. Time has come that you people should rid Gujarat of such politics and don't let such people come to power who try to get votes by dividing our society and country," he said.

However, rebutting Dr. Singh's charges, Modi accused him of playing vote-bank politics.

"The Prime Minister is playing vote-bank politics in the name of minority and majority (communities). It is sad that the Prime Minister of the country cannot rise above vote-bank politics," Modi said, addressing a rally in Valsad in south Gujarat on Sunday.

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

The Congress has fielded Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife Shweta Bhatt against Modi from Maninagar this time.

Gujarat will go to the polls in two phases on December 13 and 17. The counting of votes will take place on December 20. 

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