says Shweta, whose husband Sanjiv Bhatt, an IPS officer now suspended, has testified that Modi had asked the police to go slow on rioters in 2002.
Jagruti’s husband, slain BJP minister Haren Pandya, had represented the seat she is contesting. “Even though I hadn’t taken the legal or political route, I have been fighting for answers for almost a decade to questions about my husband’s murder,” she says. “People may make comparisons with Shweta Bhatt, but, as far as I am concerned, people in Ellisbridge know about the good work done by my husband I 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' 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