Voting begins in Gujarat as BJP and AAP are locked in a crucial fighttext_fields
New Delhi: In the first phase of polls in Gujarat, voting has begun in 89 seats across 19 districts of Kutch and Saurashtra region.
The crucial polls will decide if the ruling BJP will get a seventh consecutive term in office.
This time around the BJP is facing threat from a more visible Aa Aadmi Party while its traditional foe, the congress, appears to be sidelined.
With AAP entering the state earlier in the year, the campaigning for the polls has usually heated up, and the congress found itself sandwiched between two warring blocks.
It is certain that the BJP, which has started ruling the state since 1995, is not on firm ground as its numbers keep dropping since the 2002 from 137 to 99 in the 2018 election.
AAP is hoping to cash in on the people's weariness of seeing same faces in power for a long period of time in the state.
It has also made a slew of tempting promises of regulating school fees, and unemployment benefit alongside offering to upgrade the state's health care.
The BJP held a high voltage campaign in the state with Union Home Minister Amit Shah taking over the party's campaign in the state.
Arvind Kejriwal made Gujarat his top priority, spending longer time in the state than most national leaders of the BJP, making stump speeches.
AAP is particularly buoyed by its massive victory in Punjab and it hopes to wrest power from the BJP.
Kejriwal predicted his party, which failed to make its presence felt in the 2018 polls, would get 92 seats and 8 of them in Surat alone.
The AAP is banking on its governance model in Delhi where it successfully stopped the BJP's attempt to come to power.
However, Amit Shah dismissed the challenge raised by the AAP saying that it is "nowhere in the mind of the people of Gujarat".
Anyways, it wouldn't take long to know the fate of both the parties as the second phase of polls is scheduled on December 5, and counting will happen on December 8.