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Gujarat elections 2012: Fate of Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh CM's at stake

Dec 20 2012, 13:12 IST
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Gujarat CM Narendra Modi. (PTI) Gujarat CM Narendra Modi. (PTI)
SummaryBJP is marching steadily to triumph in Gujarat while the Congress is set to rule Himachal.

have their goodwill.”

In 2007, Modi won Maninagar by 75,000 votes against current Congress Union minister Dinsha Patel. Both Maninagar and Ellisbridge have around 2.2 lakh voters.

NAMO-MANIA

'Namo-mania' was everywhere this time – television, 3D holograms that appeared in 10 places if Modi appeared in one, a namoleague.com for the young – Modi has been on top of the IT game.

In a BJP election advertisement, a conversation between two men on ‘development’ ends like this: “I am Modi manas”, says one man. “I am also Modi manas”, chimes the other.

Modi, however, has left no stone unturned to woo voters, while the Congress' national leaders have largely undertaken whistle-stop tours.

IS SAURASHTRA A PROBLEM?

If there is a region that stands between Narendra Modi and his fantasy of a land of only ‘Modi manas’, it could be Saurashtra, writes our Opinion Editor Vandita Mishra.

It has 48 of Gujarat’s 182 seats, and is dominated by Leuva Patels, who have been restive ever since their tallest leader, Keshubhai Patel, was marginalised in Modi’s party. Keshubhai’s fledgling Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) has put up as many as 177 candidates statewide.

Also, Saurashtra this year saw its first drought since Modi came to power, worsening its chronic water shortage, and creating the ground for anti-incumbency. Saurashtra has looked on with resentment as big-ticket industrial projects like Nano and Maruti have bypassed the region.

But if Saurashtra does dent the BJP’s tally, the key rallying point will be the Leuva Patels.

WHAT ABOUT HIMACHAL PRADESH?

In Himachal Pradesh, the CSDS survey projects Congress leader Virbhadra Singh (42 per cent) as the most preferred choice for the chief minister’s post. His rivals P K Dhumal, who is the current CM, had the support of 35 per cent while Shanta Kumar got the backing of only 5 per cent of the people.

Various exit and opinion polls have predicted gains for the Congress in the BJP-ruled Himachal Pradesh. While most put Congress tally to above 40, C-Voter predicts 30 to 38 seats for the Congress while the BJP is likely to get 27 to 35 seats in the 68-member Assembly. Chanakya predicted Congress to win 40 seats and BJP 23 seats. Others may win five.

PCC chief Virbhadra Singh, who has retained a firm grip over his flock of potential winners, has emerged as the strongest contender in the chief ministerial

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