Ahmedabad: On the last day of campaigning for the first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections on Tuesday, BJP patriarch L K Advani, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Siddhu and Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal joined campaign trail addressing public rallies in the different parts of the state.

Paresh Rawal, while addressing an election rally in Ahmedabad on Tuesday in favour of ruling BJP, took a dig at Congress saying there is no scope for the party in the state.

“There is no chance for the Congress and it won’t be able to stop Modi from making a hat-trick. Even Modi would lose elections if contests from Congress…,” he said.

He further assailed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over his remarks that Gujarat is not safe for minorities.

“I invite both the girls (arrested for commenting against Mumbai bandh on Balasaheb’s demise) to come here; Gujarat is always a safer place for everyone,” added the ace actor.

 He also mocked the Prime Minister for remaining silent on several issues including price rise and corruption. “He (Manmohan Singh) even doesn’t open his mouth in front of his dentist,” Rawal said taking a dig at PM.

The actor accused the Congress of launching false propaganda against Gujarat government on issues about which Congress has lost right to speak.

On the other hand, actress Amisha Patel, while describing Modi’s ‘Gujarat shining claims’ ‘false and misleading’, appealed people to vote for Congress promising the party would work for people and not for ‘political people’. “There is an opportunity for Gujarat people to do something new; I appeal you all to vote for Congress candidates in all seats. They would work for people of Gujarat.”

Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is eyeing third consecutive term at the helm in Gujarat, is contesting from Ahmedabad’s Maninagar seat which will go to poll on December 17. Modi, Gujarat's longest serving Chief Minister, has completely dominated state's political landscape since 2002. In 2007, he defeated the Congress candidate Dinsha Patel by a big margin of nearly 75,000 votes. This time, the Congress has fielded suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s wife Shweta Bhatt from Maninagar.

A total of 1,666 candidates are in the fray for 182-member Gujarat Legislative Assembly. While the ruling BJP has fielded candidates on all the 182 Assembly constituencies, the Opposition Congress has given tickets to 181 candidates in alliance with the NCP.

A total of 87 constituencies spreading over 15 districts from Saurashtra and south regions of the state which are going to poll on December 13. Political fate of 846 candidates including 46 women, will be decided on Thursday.

The second phase will be held on December 17. Counting of votes is slated for December 20.

JPN/Bureau

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