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Gujarat Polls: Campaigning for second phase ends, voting on Dec 14

By Deepika
|

Campaigning for the second phase of Gujarat elections 2017 ended today with both the BJP and Congress leaders launching no holds barred attacks against each other.

Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi

PM Narendra Modi travelled from Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad to Dharoi Dam in a sea plane in a bid to boost waterway services. Meanwhile, Congress president-elect, Rahul Gandhi, held a press conference in Ahmedabad and expressed that the remarks made by PM Modi against the former PM are 'unacceptable.'

As the campaign was nearing its end, "Vikas" (development) took a back seat, and caste and religious issues received prominence.

Pakistan, too, found ample mention in the final stages of the electioneering. Modi set off a political storm when, speaking at a rally in Palanpur, he talked about a meeting held at suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's home in Delhi and attended by some Pakistani dignitaries, a former Vice President of India and former prime minister Manmohan Singh. This meeting, Modi claimed, happened a day before Aiyar called him "neech" (lowly sort of person).

During the campaign, Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah trained guns on the Congress on issues like Ram Temple, alleged Pakistani interference in the Gujarat polls and Aiyar's remarks. On the other hand, Gandhi persistently and tenaciously attacked Modi and the BJP for "not talking about the future of Gujarat" and skipping key issues being faced by the people of the state. He accused Modi of ignoring the masses and working for only a handful of industrialists.

The last day of campaigning saw both Modi and Gandhi visiting temples. While Gandhi paid a visit to the famous Lord Jagannath Temple in Ahmedabad, Modi took blessings at the famous Ambaji Temple in Banaskantha.

Hardik Patel charged up the campaign by holding a massive rally in Nikol area of the city, where he appealed to voters to "teach a lesson" to the BJP this time.

The 24-year-old, arguably the most talked about personality in Gujarat today, even held a road show here defying authorities who had denied permission for the event.

Several senior leaders from both the BJP and the Congress also campaigned extensively for their candidates in major parts of north and central Gujarat.

The second and final phase of elections, for which the open campaigning ended at 5pm, will see 93 assembly seats spread across 14 districts in north and central Gujarat going to polls.

A total of 851 candidates are in the fray for the second phase, where 2.22 crore people are eligible to vote.

The first phase of voting for the 182-member house, held on December 9, covered 89 seats.

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