Ahmedabad: The curtains came down on Tuesday on campaigning for the second phase of polling in Gujarat, where the canvassing saw charges flying thick and fast with the top brass of the BJP and the Congress launching no holds barred attacks against each other.
Top leaders from the two parties criss-crossed the regions going to polls on December 14 and addressed a number of rallies where they pulled out all stops to woo the voters.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spearheaded the campaign for the ruling party and president of Congress Rahul Gandhi helmed the stumping for his outfit.
The second and final phase of elections, for which the open campaigning ended at 5 pm, will see 93 assembly seats spread across 14 districts in north and central Gujarat going to polls.
The first phase of voting for the 182-member house, held on December 9, covered 89 seats. 851 candidates are in the fray for the second phase, where 2.22 crore people are eligible to vote.
The Gujarat contest is being seen as a prestige battle for Modi in his home state, where a reinvigorated Congress has sewed up a broad social coalition with prominent Patidar, OBC, and Dalit leaders in its bid to unseat the BJP in power for over two decades.
The influential Patidar community, which accounts for around 12 per cent of the state’s population, could prove to be the ‘X factor’ in the polls in which agitating quota spearhead Hardik Patel pledged support to the Congress and appealed to people to ‘uproot the BJP’ this time.