Bigwigs of various political parties and film stars-turned politicians would hit the campaign trail early next week for the crucial December 12 Gujarat Assembly elections.
With the polls just a fortnight away, Prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Union ministers, senior BJP and Congress leaders including Congress president Sonia Gandhi would be addressing a series of public meetings in the state to woo voters for their party nominees.
Sonia is visiting northern Gujarat on December 3 to kick off her party's campaign from Ambaji temple and would address a public rally at Vadodara. She will also address public meetings in Surat and Ahmedabad on December 5 and 8.
Vajpayee would visit the state on December 8 and 9 though itinerary of his tour is yet to be finalised, BJP leaders here said.
The state government is making fool-proof security arrangements for the visit of over 50 VVIPs in view of the recent violence and security threats to the state.
Prominent among those visiting the state for campaigning for BJP candidates are party president Venkaiah Naidu, Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, Union ministers Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, Uma Bharti, Babulal Marandi and party general secretary and incharge of Gujarat affiars Arun Jaitley.
For Congress, besides AICC general secretary Kamalnath, who is camping in Gujarat, senior leaders including Arjun Singh, RK Dhawan, Ahmed Patel, Salman Khursheed, Mani Shankar Aiyer, Kapil Sibal and Chief Ministers of Congress led states would join the campign.
Though no minority leader figures in the list of BJP campaigners, the Congress has invited Salman Khurshid, Ahmed Patel and Mohsina Kidwai to woo minority voters for the party candidates.
Leaders of both the political parties would be covering almost the entire state including Kutch, Rajkot, Vadodara, Anand, Junagadh, Godhra, Ahmedabad, Surat.
The Maninagar constituency of Ahmedabad district from where caretaker Chief Minister Narendra Modi is contesting the elections, would be the focus of attention in the electioneering.