The dates for the Gujarat Assembly election will be announced by the Election Commission at noon today.
The much-awaited announcement for the high voltage election in the BJP’s stronghold comes against the backdrop of the recent bridge tragedy in Morbi that left 135 people dead.
The BJP, which has been ruling the state for nearly 25 years, is on the backfoot after the aftermath of the bridge collapse revealed glaring lapses, putting the Bhupendra Patel dispensation on a sticky wicket.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), buoyed by its thumping win in Punjab earlier this year, is pushing hard to emerge as a key player in Gujarat’s political landscape.
The 2017 state polls had seen the Congress dent the BJP’s performance by putting up its best show in decades. The ruling party, however, still managed to retain power.
This time, the Congress has said it is confident of a victory and has stressed that its door-to-door campaign has received good response. The party has warned voters against AAP and the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM, calling them “B teams” of the BJP.
The ruling party, however, still has the advantage of a formidable election machinery and wide support base. Gujarat polls is also a prestige battle for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah and the BJP will leave no stone unturned to ensure that it clinces victory in the state.