Top contests of 2014: Narendra Modi vs Madhusudan Mistry

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Modi vs Mistry
Vadodara (Gujarat), April 4: The Vadodara constituency will see senior Congress leader Madhusudan Mistry, known to be close to Rahul Gandhi, take on BJP's prime ministrial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

2009 result: BJP's Balkrishna Khanderao Shukla beat Congress's Gaekwad Satyajitsinh Dulapsinh by 1,36,028 votes. The difference in vote-share was 18.2%.

[Read: Top contests of 2014]

Vadodara wil go to the polls on April 30.

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About Narendra Modi

This Lok Sabha election is being termed as Narendra Modi's election. The 64-year-old leader looks unstoppable at the moment despite the opponents' desperate attempts to corner him with the 'Gujarat riots' weapon. Modi, a regional leader, has won three consecutive assembly elections in Gujarat since 2002 but this is the first time that he will contest a Lok Sabha election. He is also contesting from Varanasi cobstituency from Uttar Pradesh where Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal is contesting against him.

About Madhusudan Mistry

A former RSS member who later joined Shankersinh Vaghela's Rashtriya Janata Party, Mistry had served as an MP from Sabarkantha from 2001 till 2009, when he lost to his BJP opponent. In 2011, Mistry was made a General Secretary of the All-India Congress Committee. He replaced Narendra Rawat, a local Congress leader who was initially fielded against Modi but reportedly expressed reluctance to fight Modi. Mistry, 69, was ecstatic about his candidature against Modi as he was long looking forward to it and was confident of defeating him.

Analysis: The fight in Vadodara is unique for it involves the poster boy of the BJP taking on a backroom strategist of the Congress. Madhusudan Mistry has done great job for the Congress in the Kerala and Karnatala assembly elections in the recent past and has also been given the chanrge of Uttar Pradesh, something which the BJP has asked another Gujarat, Amit Shah to do.

The Congress has banked on Mistry to give Modi a fight and that's about it

But in terms of electoral politics, Modi may be too heavy an opponent for Mistry and the Congress, one supposes, is only trying to give a fight to the BJP's prime ministerial candidate and contain him as much as possible in Gujarat so that Varanasi goes underemphasised by fielding a son-of-the-soil. His OBC background and a support for him in the tribal bases also made the Congress pick Mistry as Modi's opponent. However, the end result is unlikely to bother BJP much as Vadodara in central Gujarat has a big upper and middle-class population and the saffron party has a strong ground here. The BJP currently has five out of seven assembly segments under Vadodara constituency.

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