'We Will Win 150-Plus Seats," Says Gujarat BJP Chief Jitu Vaghani

Gujarat is voting in the first phase of elections today, in which 89 of its 182 seats are up for grab, Most of these seats are in the Kutch, Saurashtra belt.

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'We Will Win 150-Plus Seats,' Says Gujarat BJP Chief Jitu Vaghani

Gujarat Assembly Polls 2017: Jitu Vaghani is contestig from Bhavnagar West seat.


Ahmedabad:  As the first phase of polling started in Gujarat, state BJP chief Jitu Vaghani today said the party will win 150-plus seats in the state. Elections are underway on 89 of 182 seats in Gujarat - a state the BJP has been ruling for 22 straight years. Party chief Amit Shah has set his leaders a target of 150.

Mr Vaghani, who is contesting from Bhavnagar West seat, tweeted, "We are going to win 150+ seats under the leadership of PM Modi ji, we face no obstacles".

Opinion polls conducted two days ago has predicted a BJP victory, but with a smaller margin. A poll of opinion polls, which aggregates three surveys, showed the BJP getting 105-106 of the state's 182 seats. The number is well above the halfway mark of 92 needed to form the government, but behind last time's tally of 116 seats.   

Campaigning has been hectic over the last few weeks, with the BJP pulling all stops. A battery of senior union ministers -- including defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and finance minister Arun Jaitley -- and Chief Ministers have toured the state.

Over the last one month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly visited Gujarat -- his home state --and addressed over 25 campaign rallies in last one week. In Saurashtra and Kutch, which are going to polls today, he addressed more than 20 rallies.  

Critics have said the high voltage campaign in a state where the party has been in power for more than 2 decades, winning four consecutive elections, is a sign of its nervousness following an aggressive Congress campaign led by Rahul Gandhi.  

The poll rhetoric touched a low with Mani Shankar Aiyar's "neech" slur about the Prime Minister, which has generated a huge controversy.  PM Modi said the comment was a dig at his humble origin and was in keeping with the Congress's elitist and casteist stand.  And although the Congress immediately demanded that Mr Aiyar apologise and then suspended him for the party, Mr Modi said Gujarat will respond to the insult though its vote.


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