From power-packed rallies and roadshows by top leaders of the ruling BJP and other political parties to freebies promises and allegations and counter-allegations on each other, the high-octane campaigning for the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections ended on Tuesday.
Voting for 89 seats spread across 19 districts of Kutch, Saurashtra, and South Gujarat will be held on Thursday. The campaigning ended at 5 pm on Tuesday ahead of the first phase of polling.
“Campaigning for first phase Gujarat assembly elections has ended. All arrangements have been made for election and training has been provided to polling staff,” Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) P Bharathi told ANI.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah held rallies and roadshows in the state as the BJP seeks a record seventh term in office.
BJP chief JP Nadda, Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Union Ministers Smriti Irani, Mansukh Mandaviya, Parshottam Rupala, Ravishankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Nitin Gadkari also campaigned during the first phase of elections.
BJP Yuva Morcha president Tejasvi Surya and leaders Manoj Tiwari and Ravi Kishan also held rallies to garner support for the party candidates.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot were among the prominent campaigners of the party. Party leader Rahul Gandhi addressed two rallies in the state.
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann campaigned extensively in the state while making various promises.
A total of 788 candidates are in the fray on 89 first-phase seats which include 718 male candidates and 70 female candidates.
Candidates from both BJP and Congress will be contesting on all 89 seats in the first phase, while AAP will contest on 88 seats. A total of 39 political parties have fielded their candidates.
Among prominent candidates, Gujarat Chief Minster Bhupendra Patel is contesting from Ghatlodia, AAP Chief Ministerial candidate Isudan Gadhvi from Khambhaliya, former Congress leader and BJP candidate Hardik Patel from Viramgam, former Congress leader and now BJP candidate Alpesh Thakor from Gandhinagar South.
AAP state president Gopal Italia is contesting from Katargam constituency, Gujarat Home Minister (State) Harsh Sanghavi from Majura, Rivaba Jadeja from Jamnagar North, former Gujarat minister Parshottam Solanki from Bhavnagar Rural, Kunwarji Bavaliya from Jasdan, Kantilal Amrutiya from Morbi and Jayesh Radadiya from Jetpur.
Former BJP MLA Madhu Shrivastav is contesting as an Independent from Vaghodia.
A total of 2,39,76,670 voters, including 1,24,33,362 males, 1,1,5,42,811 females, and 497 from the third gender are eligible to vote in the first phase of Gujarat polls.
The second phase of voting will be held on December 5.
The counting of votes will be done on December 8. Results of the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections will also be declared on the same day.