Ahmedabad, Sep 29 (PTI) The ruling BJP and opposition Congress got into the poll mode after the announcement of schedule on Tuesday for the by-elections to eight assembly seats in Gujarat with both sides sounding upbeat about their prospects amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Election Commission (EC) in New Delhi announced that bypolls for 54 assembly seats, eight of them in Gujarat, will be held on November 3 and counting of votes will take place on November 10.
Both the Congress and the BJP expressed confidence about doing well in the bypolls being held in the shadow of COVID-19.
Bypolls were necessitated on these eight seats due to the resignation of sitting Congress MLAs before the Rajya Sabha elections in June this year.
These eight seats are Abdasa, Limbdi, Morbi, Dhari, Gadhada, Karjan, Dangs and Kaprada.
Congress workers are ready to defeat the Congress turncoats who betrayed the mandate of people by crossing over to the BJP mid-term, the party's state unit president, Amit Chavda, told reporters after the announcement of the schedule.
We welcome the polls and are confident that we will win on all the eight seats, Chavda said.
Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said his party BJP is ready for the by-elections.
The government and the party are ready for the by- elections. Congress MLAs resigned due to factionalism in that party or else who would be willing to resign from being elected as an MLA, Patel said.
For the BJP, it will be an addition to its existing tally in the assembly as all the eight MLAs who resigned are of the opposition party, Patel said when asked how many seats the ruling party expects to win.
Gujarat BJP president C R Paatil hoped the party will win all the eight seats in the bypolls.
While the MLAs who resigned from the Congress are hopeful the BJP will field them from their respective assembly seats, Patel said a decision on ticket distribution will be taken by the central leadership.
Patel said selection of candidates will take place as per the process of the party and the central parliamentary board, the BJP's apex decision-making body, will have the final say on the issue.
To a question on how will the BJP conduct its election campaign in the times of the coronavirus pandemic, Patel said his party will follow EC-prescribed protocols and guidelines while wooing voters. PTI PD RSY RSY