With finalisation of candidates for all 182 Assembly seats, the ruling BJP and Opposition Congress will turn their focus on campaigning in Gujarat for the two-phase election to be held next month.
Both the BJP and Congress had finalised their candidates as Thursday was the last day for filing of nomination papers for the second phase. The ruling BJP is contesting on all 182 seats while the Opposition party has fielded candidates from 179 seats, with three seats left for the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) as part of its alliance.
For the ruling party, its top leaders, including national president J.P. Nadda, Union Ministers and Chief Ministers of U.P., Assam and Madhya Pradesh are expected to address public meetings on Friday in the 89 constituencies going to polls in the first phase on December 1.
As per the details shared by the party media wing, BJP president Nadda will hold rallies in three places – Navsari, Ankleshwar and Rajkot East, while Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Narendra Singh Tomar and Anurag Singh Thakur will each speak at three-four meetings in different locations.
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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan will address three and four rallies respectively. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union ministers V.K. Singh and Faggan Singh Kulaste are among other party leaders who will be addressing rallies in Saurashtra and South Gujarat.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive on Saturday for three days of campaigning. He will start from Valsad in South Gujarat before holding rallies in Saurashtra seats such as Veraval and Botad.
The Opposition party, whose campaign has been low-key so far, will intensify its programme with Rahul Gandhi’s rallies in Amreli, Rajkot (Saurashtra) and Vansda (South Gujarat).
Besides, other top Congress leaders like Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and former Union Ministers are expected to join the campaign in different constituencies.
In the first phase, Saurashtra, Kutch and South Gujarat regions are going to polls while the remaining 93 seats in north and central parts of the State will have the election on December 5. Counting is scheduled for December 8.
From the AAP, Chief Ministers of Delhi and Punjab Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann, respectively, are holding rallies and roadshows in constituencies in Surat and Saurashtra.