Assembly election: BJP top guns hit campaign trail in Gujarat poll battle

Narendra Modi in Gujarat
After the recent closely fought battle for local bodies, which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won, top leaders of Uttar Pradesh are now set to lock horns on a different turf, for a different purpose -- the Gujarat  Assembly elections 2017.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Samajwadi Party (SP) President and former CM Akhilesh Yadav, and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief and former CM Mayawati have hit the campaign trail in Gujarat to canvass in favour of their respective parties' candidates.

The BJP has also decided to bring in the newly elected party mayors from UP for campaigning. The 14 BJP mayors met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday. The Opposition parties in UP have, however, alleged that the BJP won the mayoral posts after manipulating the electronic voting machines (EVM).

While Akhilesh addressed a rally at Dwarka in Gujarat on Monday and is slated to stay put in the state till Thursday (December 7), Mayawati will be arriving in Gujarat on Tuesday to address a public meeting in Rajkot.

Since BSP performed better than expected in the UP civic polls, winning two of the 16 mayoral seats, there could be more of Mayawati’s rallies in the coming days.

Yogi Adityanath had already campaigned in Gujarat in two phases, participating in ‘Gaurav Yatra’ on October 12 and 13 and later for three days last week addressing public meetings in pockets with a sizeable concentration of immigrants -- Saurashtra, Surat and coastal Porbandar. 

Adityanath has been campaigning in Gujarat to cash in on his robust Hindutva image, high-pitch oratory and tough stance against corruption, apart from his uncompromising stance on cultural matters.

Earlier, he had also addressed rallies in Himachal Pradesh, where polling was held on November 9 for the 68-member Vidhan Sabha.

The stakes are high for the ruling BJP in Gujarat following the emergence of complex matrices of castes, reservation demands and the neo aggressive persona of principal opposition Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. Now with Rahul set to take over as the party president, the poll fight is only set to get rougher, malicious and no-holds barred.

The two-phase Gujarat polling would take place on December 9 and 14 for the 182 member state assembly. The counting of votes would take place on December 18 and the results announced the same day.

While, BSP had announced to contest all 182 seats in Gujarat, while the SP, which fought the 2017 UP poll in alliance with Congress, would fight 5 assembly seats.

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