And, Cong fields Mistry against Modi

The strategists within the Congress party on Tuesday sprung a surprise on BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi by fielding party general secretary Madhusoodan Mistry as the candidate from Vadodara seat. BJP has already announced Modi’s candidature from Vadodara in addition to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, from where Modi’s candidature is being challenged by Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal.

Since 1991 Vadodara has remained with the BJP but for a brief interregnum 1996-98 when Congress’ Satyajit Sinh Gaekwad won. In the 2009 polls, Balkrishna Shukla of the BJP won the seat by a margin of over 1.36 lakh votes and has vacated the seat for Modi.

The way for Mistry was cleared when Narendra Ravat, the party’s candidate withdrew from the race saying that a heavyweight should be pitched against Modi. Ravat’s name was selected through Rahul Gandhi’s much vouched preliminary. Following the announcement of his name, Mistry said: ‘This was the moment I was waiting for years. Let Modi fight from Vadodara, I will also fight from here and defeat him. I am very confident that I will defeat him.’
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