Phase 2 of Gujarat elections today

As polling for the second phase of Gujarat Assembly elections takes place on Monday, the electoral fortune of over 800 candidates including Chief Minister Narendra Modi will be decided as he searches for a third consecutive victory from Maninagar.

 In a do or die battle for retaining power in Gujarat, Modi has left no stone unturned in wooing the voters this time around.

There are factors in favour of the chief minister and some against him. If the urban centres are tilted toward the BJP in Monday’s election, then there are constituencies where a large number of voters are from the Kadwa Patel community, many of whom are convicted in the post-Godhra riot cases.

While campaigning, Modi banked heavily on rallies, posters and the new 3D campaign, while the Congress relied upon rallies and campaigns led by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and the prime minister to showcase what the Congress termed as “development for all”.

Vying for a return to power is Congress veteran and Modi’s bete noire Shankarsinh Vaghela who will also face the test on Monday.

The second phase will also see two women candidates, also sworn enemies of Modi, in the fray.

While Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, is contesting from a Congress ticket against Modi in his Maninagar constituency, Jagruti Pandya, widow of slain BJP minister Haren Pandya is contesting from Keshubhai Patel’s Gujarat Parivartan Party in the elite Ellisbridge constituency .

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