BJP, Cong claim clear majority in Guj Assembly Polls

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Ahmedabad, Dec 22: With less than 24 hours left for counting of votes in Gujarat Assembly polls, both ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition Congress made claims that they would emerge victorious to form next Goverment.

Both BJP and Congress claimed that the Party was all set to secure clear majority in the polls, results of which are to be declared tomorrow, and are ready to form the Goverment. Ruling BJP spokesman Yamal Vyas told the sources that the Party has no doubt that the Modi Magic will work once again for the party to win at least 120 seats as high voter turnout in both first and second phases will tilt the victory scale in favour of BJP.

Mr Vyas said, ''Party expects that massive campaigning efforts, undertaken by Chief Minister Narendra Modi single handedly addressing over 170 public meetings covering over 155 of total 182 constituencies, with over 625 public meetings addressed by Party leaders will give desired result to BJP.'' Mr Vyas claimed that Party's victories in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections are vital as they will pave a path for its return to power in New Delhi.

Mr Vyas said, ''The party has been claiming its victory on two counts, one cult like popularity of Narendra Modi and secondly on development and transparency brought to the administration by BJP Government in last five years.'' He said, ''The polling day scenario, on December 11 in Saurashtra, Kutch and South Gujarat region and on December 16 in Central and North Gujarat, clearly indicated that most voters have opted to exercise their franchise to re-elect Mr Modi and his government to power.''

The BJP spokesman said, ''Early morning turn out of minority community, mainly Muslim population, voters in second phase (on December 16) had activated passive majority voters to rush to polling booths to make counter balancing act.'' The Party also expects to get edge over rival Congress with large chunk of new (young) generation voters opting for voting for Modi and BJP Government, he said.

When asked, Mr Vyas said, Modi, the star campaigner of Gujarat election, will easily walk through as victor in his home constituency of Maninagar in Ahmedabad against Congress candidate and Union Minister of State for Petroleum Dinsha Patel.

However, Mr Vyas admitted that in some areas party may not perform well. Some of the BJP ministers, such as Agriculture Minister Bhupendra Chudasma, Revenue Minister Kaushik Patel, Law and Health Minister Ashok Bhatt may lose their seats due to several personal and political reasons as these ministers had won last Assembly election in 2002 with very slender or small margin.

While not lagging behind in counter claim, Congress Spokesman Manish Doshi claimed that Party will eat cake with icing too due to good works of Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre during floods in Gujarat which has given the Party a massive political edge in tribal belt of South Gujarat and among the farmer lobby of Saurashtra region.

Mr Doshi said, ''With huge political inroads in tribal and farmer lobby, the Gujarat Congress will emerge with thumping victory by securing 110 seats or more in tomorrow's showdown.'' Mr Doshi claimed that the supression of farmers and exploitation of tribals by the Modi Government had brought the large number of voters, about 60 per cent in both phases, to polling booths to exercise their franchise in resentment.

'Congress strong campaign, spearheaded by its President Sonia Gandhi through public meetings and roadshow by young leader Rahul Gandhi, has laid the victory road for party to come to power in Gandhinagar.'' The Congress spokesman said, ''People wanted a political change in Gujarat through this Assembly polls and its clear indication was large number of attendance in public meetings of Ms Gandhi, many of which had attracted crowd of over 400,000 people, and never ending human queues along the road of roadshows of Mr Gandhi, majority of which was of young generation voters.''

He said, ''In the 1st phase Congress is expecting to secure 55 seats from 87 seats which covers Saurashtra, Kutch and South Gujarat. Similarly in second Phase which covers urban areas of Central and North Gujarat party expects over 50 seats as anti-incumbency factor against Modi Government will work for us.''

Mr Doshi said, ''The Congress expects to win even against some of the Ministers of BJP who got marginal victories in last polls under the Hindu wave in post-Godhra riots atmosphere but this time its absence will be our gain.'' However, another senior Congress leader admitted that Congress candidate Dinsha Patel may not do well enough against Modi in Maninagar as Party workers did not get enough time to do home work to give him needed edge to send biggest shock in BJP camp.

Though both party claimed victory for it and loss for rival, professional bookies of Gujarat, National and International level favour Modi to retain power with comfortable majority.

The Bookies claimed that Gujarat Assembly Polls has attracted whopping satta amounting to Rs 1700 crore. Of this, betting of over Rs 500 crore was done in Pounds and Dollars by international players, mainly Gujaratis who have settled down in UK and USA.

According to satta world sources, if Modi's cult like popularity and Congress's propaganda to brand him as 'Death of Merchants' had invoked feelings of Hindutva in majority, that might have reflected in major turnout of voter in both phases, than it is likely that BJP may cross 130 seat mark to make a record victory in Gujarat.

UNI

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