Campaign for 2nd phase Gujarat polls ends
The high-voltage campaign for the second phase of assembly elections in Gujarat on December 16 covering 95 seats winded down on Friday evening.india Updated: Dec 14, 2007 20:38 IST
The high-voltage campaign for the second phase of assembly elections in Gujarat on December 16 covering 95 seats winded down on Friday evening with development issues overshadowed by a war of words on national security which often slided into a slanging match between BJP and Congress.
More than 1.87 crore voters are eligible to decide the fate of 599 candidates, including 31 women, contesting for 95 of the total of 182 seats in Central and North Gujarat regions of the state much of which was worst hit by post-Godhra riots.
The discourse for the campaign was dominated by national security with BJP going on the offensive against Congress accusing it of going soft on terror and cited the issue of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, a decision on whose petition against death sentence is awaited, as a case in point.
An unfazed Congress launched a counter attack seeking to puncture BJP's national security plank with party chief Sonia Gandhi poininting out that it was the BJP-led NDA government which had released hardcore terrorists to end the hijacking of Indian Airlines plane in Kandahar in 1999.
The developmental issue simply vanished from the numerous speeches Modi made as he began to concentrate on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, attacking them on various issues including terrorism.
Modi sought to belitte the Prime Minister by asking the crowd at rallies "do you know our Prime Minister? I am talking of Manmohan Singh".