Ahmedabad, April 21: Campaigning for 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat ended at 5pm Sunday, with the last day of canvassing seeing Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a rally in Patan in the northern part of the state and BJP chief Amit Shah holding a roadshow in Gandhinagar. During campaigning, the two principal parties in the state- the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress exchanged acrimonious barbs, with leaders from both groups exuding confidence of a good showing.
The BJP had swept all 26 seats in the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Campaigning for four Assembly bypolls in Dhrangadhra, Manavadar, Unjha and Jamnagar (Rural) seats also ended Sunday along with that of the Lok Sabha elections. Karnataka Lok Sabha Elections 2019: High Octane, Vitriol-Filled Campaign for Phase 3 of Polling Ends in Karnataka.
The Talala Assembly bypoll, which was to be held simultaneously on April 23, was, however, stayed by the Supreme Court. Among the star campaigners, PM Modi earlier held rallies in Amreli, Anand, Surendranagar, Himmatnagar and Junagadh, besides Patan on Sunday. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi addressed poll gatherings in Vanthali in Junagadh, Bhuj in Kutch district, Mahuva in Bhavnagar and Bardoli in south Gujarat, including in Tapi district in south Gujarat on Friday. Odisha Lok Sabha and Assembly Elections 2019: Campaign Ends for Phase 3 of Polling in Odisha.
Shah, who is contesting from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat, held rallies and roadshows in Banaskantha, Kodinar, Chhota Udepur districts among others. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani covered all 26 Lok Sabha seats during the three-week campaign while Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and other cabinet colleagues also pitched in for the ruling BJP.
The Congress also deployed cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, who recently left the BJP to join the opposition party, and actor Ameesha Patel to drum up support for its candidates. The BJP leaders who campaigned in Gujarat included Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and Union ministers Sushma Swaraj, Smriti Irani and Nirmala Sitharaman.
Patidar quota spearhead Hardik Patel, who joined the Congress, campaigned for the party in several places but his plan to contest from Jamnagar Lok Sabha seat was nixed after courts refused to stay his conviction in a rioting case.