rights groups at least 2,000 Muslims were killed.
Gandhi, 43, has focused more on reviving the Congress party's political fortunes and, along with his mother Sonia, he been a vocal supporter of welfare programmes for the millions of poor. Otherwise, he rarely speaks in public and has said little about how to boost India's economic growth.
His solitary appearance before captains of industry in January failed to ignite enthusiasm and his speech was criticised for being vague and rambling.
Regardless of who wins, an overwhelming majority of business leaders said they wanted a stable government after the election, though neither the BJP or the Congress is expected to win a clear majority.
The worry among investors is that a "third front" made up of regional parties with competing agendas may end up forming a fragile government that may not survive long.
Business leaders surveyed in the poll, however, thought that the economy has bottomed out with 42 percent forecasting a slight uptick in growth from the 4.4 percent reported in the last quarter to over 5 percent this year and the next. That is still far below the level policy makers say is needed to create jobs for the millions of youth joining the workforce.