With the campaigning for the first phase of polls on 13 December coming to an end on Tuesday, both BJP and Congress have already started predicting big victories.
“We are confident that in the forthcoming polls, BJP will surely emerge victorious,” said a BJP leader.
“Today the public sentiment is towards Congress and there is resentment among people with the BJP. The Congress will win the first phase of polls comfortably particularly in south Gujarat and Saurashtra,” said Congress leader Manish Doshi.
The first phase of polls will be an acid test for Gujarat Parivartan Party chief Keshubhai Patel and will decide his political future. Out of the 87 Assembly seats going to polls on 13 December, 54 are in Saurashtra, the stronghold of the GPP. The result of the first phase will also be important for the BJP and Congress as the fate of many of their senior leaders will be decided by the electorate.
Ten ministers of the present BJP government will face the electorate in the first phase. Among them are Finance Minister Vajubhai Vala, Law and Agriculture Minister Dilip Sanghani, Fishery Minister Purshottam Solanki and Forest Minister Mangubhai Patel.
In the Congress camp, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president Arjun Modhwadia and Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly Shaktisinhh Gohil will have their destinies locked in the electronic voting machines.
There are 846 candidates fighting the polls in the first phase. The BJP has pitted candidates in all the 87 seats in the first phase while Congress has 84 candidates. The GPP has 83 candidates in the first phase of the Assembly polls. There are a lot of Independent candidates fighting the first phase of polls.
The second phase of polling is on 17 December. The counting of votes is scheduled on 20 December.