Vadodara LS poll - A clash of titan and fresher

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LS poll - A clash of titan and fresher
Ahmedabad, March 20: The Vadodara Lok Sabha contest may turn out to be one between a political stalwart and a fresher, as BJP's Prime Ministerial nominee Narendra Modi, who has chosen it as a second safe seat, is pitted against a newcomer from Congress.

BJP has expressed confidence that the selection of this Lok Sabha seat will help Modi win with the highest margin in the country among all the contesting candidates.

Congress has given ticket to its city unit president Narendra Ravat, who won the primary, a concept introduced by party vice-president Rahul Gandhi. As per his profile, Ravat, an engineer by profession and a senate member of Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU), has not fought any political election prior to his getting the nomination for the Lok Sabha seat.

The Congress, while giving ticket to a newcomer, apparently failed to gauge the possibility of Modi contesting from the seat which has been traditionally held by the BJP. Vadodara has been chosen by Modi as he can maximise his lead, since the seat has been traditionally in the BJP's kitty.

In 2009, BJP's Balu Shukla won the seat by a margin of over 1.36 lakh votes. The BJP has been winning the urban seat of Vadodara since 1991, expect for a brief period of 17 months in 1996 to 1998 when Satyajit Gaekwad, the heir of royal family, won it by a slender margin on Congress ticket.

In the December 2012 Assembly elections, out of the 10 Assembly segments coming in the Lok Sabha seat of Vadodara, nine were won by BJP and one by an Independent. "Narendrabhai has come here searching for a safe seat.

"Narendrabhai has come here searching for a safe seat. I welcome him," Congress candidate Ravat told PTI. "I have been working for the people of this city since my student life for the last 20 years. Now, when my party workers have chosen me to contest on this seat, I will not hesitate to fight against any candidate of other party," he said, in response to how will he take on Modi.

The state Congress has ruled out changing their candidate for a strong nominee against Modi. "The candidate on Vadodara seat cannot be changed as he has been selected through primaries. He is a young leader who is coming up and has been in MSU senate for the last 15 years," Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said.

Meanwhile, BJP is confident that Modi will win with the highest margin on the Vadodara seat. "We are confident that Modi will win with the highest margin from Vadodara than any other candidate contesting the 2014 elections in the country," BJP media convenor Harsad Patel claimed.

On Modi having to face a weak candidate from the Congress, Patel said, "Any candidate against Modi is a weak candidate."

PTI

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