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First phase of polling in Gujarat tomorrow

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

goes to the polls tomorrow for the first phase of the assembly being held in 89 seats of Saurashtra and South regions with 977 candidates in the fray.

The second phase of the high-stakes -- with the making a bid for a fifth term and the attempting an electoral revival -- will be held on December 14.


After a campaign that often turned vituperative, around 2.12 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise in Modi's home state tomorrow to choose between the ruling and the

Prominent candidates in the fray for Saturday's battle include Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who is contesting from Rajkot (West), and Congress' (Mandvi) and Paresh Dhanani (Amreli).

The high voltage campaign for the first phase ended last evening.

Sparring between the two parties while canvassing for the polls, viewed as a prestige battle for Prime Minister Modi and a litmus test for the leadership of soon-to-be chief Rahul Gandhi, continued till the very end.

Yesterday, the suspended its leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for referring to Modi as a "neech kism ka aadmi" (vile sort of man), triggering a controversy just ahead of the

The campaign shaped up as a duel between Modi and Gandhi, and often turned personal.

The poll narrative kept changing with issues such as the Ayodhya title suit, Gandhi's imminent elevation as president and his visits to temples being raised by leaders.

Gandhi emerged as the Congress' pivot to take on the might of the prime minister on his home turf.

While Modi addressed about 15 rallies, Gandhi spent more than seven days in Saurashtra and south Gujarat, addressing a number of meetings.

president Amit Shah, the chief poll strategist of the saffron party, also addressed a number of rallies, mainly targeting the and Gandhi.

The drafted in Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, besides Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The fielded former prime minister Manmohan Singh and prominent leaders such as P Chidambaram, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sachin Pilot to canvass for votes.

The second phase comprises 93 seats in north and central The counting of votes will be taken up on December 18.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, December 08 2017. 15:16 IST
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