Campaigning for bypolls ends in Gujarat

Campaigning for the by-elections to two Lok Sabha and four Assembly seats in Gujarat ended on Friday.

Ahmedabad: Campaigning for the by-elections to two Lok Sabha and four Assembly seats in Gujarat ended on Friday.

Stakes are high for the main opposition Congress, as it is fighting to retain these six seats.

The state leadership of BJP and Congress has mostly stayed away from campaigning. Chief Minister Narendra Modi did not campaign in any of the constituencies.

Voting will be held on June 2 and counting will take place on June 5.

The two Lok Sabha seats where the by-polls are being held are Porbandar and Banaskantha, while the Assembly by-polls would be held at Dhoraji, Jetpur, Limbdi and Morva Hadaf.

Elections were necessitated at Banaskantha Lok Sabha seat and Morva Hadaf Assembly seat following the deaths of MP Mukesh Gadhvi and MLA Savita Khant, both of Congress. Khant passed away on December 30, the counting-day of state Assembly elections.

Porbandar MP Vithhal Radadia first resigned when he got elected as an MLA from Dhoraji on Congress ticket in the December Assembly elections.

Later, both Vithhal Radadia and his son Jayesh who had won from Jetpur Assembly seat resigned as Congress MLAs to join BJP. Now father and son are contesting respectively from Porbandar Lok Sabha and Jetpur Assembly seats on BJP tickets.

Sitting Congress MP from Surendranagar Soma Patel won from Limbdi Assembly seat in December, but chose to remain a member of Parliament and resigned as MLA. His son Satish Patel is facing former state minister Kiritsinh Rana of BJP in the by-election.

At Morva Hadaf, Congress`s candidate is Bhupendra Khant, son of Savita Khant.

Similarly, Congress has given ticket to Krishna Gadhvi, widow of Mukesh Gadhvi, in Banaskantha Lok Sabha seat.

Eighteen candidates are in the fray for four Assembly seats and fifteen for the two Lok Sabha seats.

Voting will take place from 7 am to 6 pm instead of the usual 8 am to 5 pm. The time has been extended in view of the hot weather, said additional chief electoral officer Ashok Manek.