Congress- BJP in a neck and neck race to finish line

Rahul Gandhi

Congress would have to settle for between 78 and 86 seats. BJP could win between 91 and 99 seats in the 182-member assembly.

The results of the Gujarat assembly polls along with the results of Himachal Pradesh assembly elections will be announced on 18 December.

The BJP has nominated 50 Patidars this time, while the Congress has fielded 41 candidates from the community.

The findings give boost to morale of the Congress party workers.

According to the survey, it is likely that the Dalits and Patidars would vote for the Congress, while the BJP is likely to secure the votes of the upper castes and Kolis. The opinion poll predicts 23-27 seats (46% vote share) for the BJP whereas, 6-10 seats (39% vote share) for the Congress.

According to political analyst Achyut Yagnik, a mere swing of about four to five per cent would prove to be game changer for Congress.

In central Gujarat, Congress is predicted to get 38 per cent votes against the BJP's 54 per cent while in north Gujarat, the Congress is expected to fetch 49 per cent of votes while the BJP could be limited at 44 per cent. During the process, the party also realized that Rahul Gandhi was not exactly the person who could strongly counter attack Modi, so it was decided that Gandhi will attack Modi only on social media and the Patidar agitation spearhead, Hardik Patel, who is a fiery orator, will attack the Prime Minister through his rallies and addresses.

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The only fear or the one sector that the Congress should be anxious about is that its workers are not as dedicated as the BJP cadres.

There is also clear divide between rural and urban Gujarat. A crucial meeting was held at Gujarat Congress office, Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, on Tuesday evening where leaders, including a few Muslims, were told to apply "restraint" vis-a-vis joining any public debate with BJPon the sensitive and emotive issue.Even Muslim leaders were advised to keep the affairs "restraint" on Wednesday, the anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition.In fact, as part of their electoral strategy for crucial Gujarat polls, the Congress leaders have avoided raising what is said to be the "secularism bogey" in the run up to the assembly elections.

In the past one month, the Congress has offset its huge deficit in south and central Gujarat and now leads by 2 points in the south while being neck-and-neck in central Gujarat.

Which is the ruling and opposition party in Gujarat?

The survey says that the emergence of Congress in the state is outstanding but still it has long way to go in the final lurch towards the finish line. This is because Gujarat has become a question of honor for Modi and Amit Shah because they both are from this state. And while campaigning the Congress promised to expose BJP.

The assembly polls in Gujarat will be conducted in two phases on December 9 and 14 while the results will be announced on December 18.