Gandhinagar, Nov 21: The Congress is definitely hoping against hope to shake the might of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in its home turf Gujarat, where it is in power for the last 22 years.
We have been seeing how the Congress leaders, including vice-president of the party, Rahul Gandhi, have been relentlessly campaigning in every nook and corner of the state ahead of the all-important Gujarat Assembly elections 2017.
The elections for the 182-member state Legislative Assembly are scheduled on December 9 and 14. The results of the polls will be declared on December 18.
Earlier reports suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would start his official campaign for the BJP in Gujarat from November 18. However, that seems to have been postponed.
Now, the Congress, which is leaving no stone unturned to challenge the BJP, has announced its list of star campaigners, which features the name of 40 popular leaders--both national and local.
Among the most prominent names in the list are Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress party's national general secretary and in-charge of party affairs for Gujarat Ashok Gehlot, Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat Ahmed Patel and former union minister Sachin Pilot, to name a few leaders.
In fact, the BJP is also engaging the service of several of its top leaders including union ministers to campaign in Gujarat. Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Prakash Javadekar and Smriti Irani have already participated in the door-to-door campaigning launched across the State by party president Amit Shah. Shah has also been travelling across the State to meet party leaders and booth-level workers.
On top of that when Modi will officially start campaigning for the BJP in Gujarat, it is sure going to send jitters in the Congress camp as everyone is well-aware about the PM's oratory skills to convince voters brilliantly.
While the BJP has announced its third list of candidates, the Congress announced its second list of candidates for the Gujarat polls on Monday.
Till now, the BJP has given tickets to 134 candidates to contest the polls. The rest will be declared soon. The Congress, on its part, has declared the names of 117 candidates for the two-phase state elections.