Campaigning ends for bypolls to 8 Guj Assembly seats

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Ahmedabad, Nov 1 (PTI) Campaigning for the November 3 bypolls to eight Assembly seats in Gujarat ended on Sunday evening, with both the major political parties- the ruling BJP as well as the opposition Congress- claiming to make a clean sweep.

Bypolls to Abdasa, Limbdi, Morbi, Dhari, Gadhada, Karjan, Dang and Kaprada were necessitated after sitting MLAs quit the Congress and the Assembly, five of them joining the BJP later.

For the BJP, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, state unit chief C R Paatil, Union ministers Smriti Irani, Mansukh Mandaviya and Purshottam Rupala campaigned.

Paatil addressed rallies in four seats, while Irani campaigned for Morbi Assembly candidate Brijesh Merja who had quit Congress to join the BJP.

For the Congress, the campaign workload was shared by state working president Hardik Patel, who toured all eight seats extensively, and Amit Chavda, Paresh Dhanani, Arjun Modhwadiya, Siddharth Patel, Tushar Chaudhry and Manish Doshi.

Its Gujarat in-charge Rajeev Satav addressed rallies in four seats.

The BJP has fielded Pradyumnsinh Jadeja from Abdasa, Kiritsinh Rana from Limbdi, Brijesh Merja from Morbi, J V Kakadiya from Dhari, Atmaram Parmar from Gadhada, Akshay Patel from Karjan, Vijay Patel from Dang and Jitubhai Chaudhary for Kaprada.

They are up against the Congress' Shantilal Sendhani (Abdasa), Chetan Khachar (Limbdi), Jayantilal Patel (Morbi), Suresh Kotadiya (Dhari), Mohan Solanki (Gadhada), Kiritsinh Jadeja (Karjan), Suryakant Gavit (Dang) and Babubhai Patel (Kaprada).

A total of 81 candidates are in the fray for the eight seats, including 51 independents, with Limbdi leading with 14 candidates and Kaprada, a Scheduled Tribe-reserved seat, at the other end with just four.

Twelve candidates each are in the fray from Morbi and Gadhada, 11 from Dhari, 10 in Abdasa, and nine each in Karjan and Dang.

The Bharatiya Tribal Party has fielded two candidates on Dang, an ST-reserved seat, and Karjan.

Parties like Bahujan Maha Party, Bahujan Mukti Party, Bharatiya Jana Parishad, Akhil Bharatiya Rajarya Sabha, All India Majlish-e-Inqulab-e-Millat, Rashtravadi Jana Chetna, Yuva Jan Jagruti, Vyavastha Parivartan Party, and Rashtriya Jankranti Party have also fielded a few candidates.

The counting of votes will be held November 10. PTI KA PD BNM NP NP