BJP, Congress gearing up for Gujarat by-polls campaign

The ruling BJP as well as opposition Congress are drawing up poll campaign plans for the upcoming by-polls for the nine Assembly and one Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat.

PTI| Updated: Sep 03, 2014, 01:30 AM IST
Bharatiya Janata Party,Indian National Congress,Gujarat,by-polls campaign

Ahmedabad: The ruling BJP as well as opposition Congress are drawing up poll campaign plans for the upcoming by-polls for the nine Assembly and one Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat.

Both BJP and Congress have inaugurated their party offices in Maninagar here, one of the Assembly seats going for polls. This seat was vacated by Narendra Modi as an MLA after he became the Prime Minister.

Gujarat Congress Spokesperson Manish Doshi said, "With this office in Maninagar, Congress has offices in all the 10 constituencies. Though poll campaign is yet to gain momentum, some of our candidates have already started their 'Lok Sampark' (mass contact) meetings in their respective areas."

BJP, on the other hand is also set to kick start the poll campaign.

"We have completed our ground work well in advance," said BJP's state media convener Harshad Patel.

"It is necessary to put the organizational structure in place before starting the real campaign, which involves public meetings and door-to-door campaign. Our senior leaders have appointed the important functionaries on each seat well in advance. Now, candidates will kick start their campaign," he added.

By polls on nine assembly and one Lok Sabha seat will be conducted on September 13. The Assembly seats where by polls will be held are Anand, Limkheda (Dahod), Deesa (Banaskantha), Matar (Kheda), Maninagar (Ahmedabad), Talaja (Bhavnagar), Tankara (Rajkot), Khambhalia (Jamnagar) and Mangrol (Junagadh).

The Vadodara Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to retain Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. As a sitting MLA, he also vacated Maninagar Assembly seat.

Congress is banking on its state level senior leaders to spearhead the campaign.

"Each seat has been put under direct command of a senior leader. Shankersinh Vaghela will handle Matar, Arjun Modhwadia will handle Khambhalia, Bharatsinh Solanki will handle Anand and Siddharth Patel will handle Vadodara. A team of 50 local leaders and workers is put under them," Doshi said.

"Looking at the Marathi voters in Vadodara and other seats, such as Maninagar, national leaders like Jyotiraditya Sindia, Sachin Pilot, Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chauhan are also expected to join the campaign in coming days," he said.

On the other side, BJP is banking on local leaders. "In coming days, our candidates will address rallies and kick start Lok Sampark drive in their areas. As of now, no specific information is available about national leaders coming here for campaign," said Patel.

"Though we expect the presence of our MP Paresh Raval and Union Minister Smriti Irani for campaign, we will mostly rely on our state level leaders to handle the campaign for our candidates" he added.