Candidates take a break before D-day

Praful Patel
After toiling for weeks in the heat and dust of election campaigns, candidates finally had a time to heave a sigh before the results are out on Thursday. While many of them chose to spend time with their family, for some, it was business as usual.

Vithal Radadiya of Congress was back to his home at Jam Kandorna in Rajkot district to spend some time with family. The Congress Porbandar MP was shuttling between New Delhi, where he attended Parliament, and Gujarat for campaigning.

Radadiya has made preparations for Nathdwara pilgrimage in Rajasthan, but after winning. "I am now dividing time between family and the party to find out who is winning and who is losing. According to me, I am winning by a margin of 15,000 votes. Whatever the exit polls have to say, I think Congress is coming to power. In the last few days, I have done all the maths," said Radadiya who is contesting from Dhoraji.

Praful Patel, Minister of state for home who is contesting from Himmatnagar constituency, said he was not tensed. "I was relaxed even during the polls because I am sure of my victory. I relaxed by reading newspapers and watching TV after I voted on Monday. I will be visiting Shyamlaji to pay my respects to the deity and pray for success."

Anilbhai Joshiyara, Bhiloda MLA and Congress candidate, said, "I spent the day with my family and we took our meals together, which had not happened in 15-20 days."

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Fakirbhai Vaghela, who is contesting from Vadgam, said, "I have been meeting party workers since morning to bolster their morale after their spirited campaign work. We will be doing a analysis of voting that has happened and mobilise workers for the counting process. I will then leave along with my family for a Jain temple at my hometown before heading to Gandhinagar."

Jagruti Pandya, who is contesting on a Gujarat Parivartan Party ticket from Ellisbridge, said, "I am tying up a lot of loose ends at the party office and mobilising my team."

Rebel BJP leader Dr Kanu Kalsaria, who has floated his own party 'Sadbhavna Manch' and fielding five candidates, headed for Vipasna Shibir for meditation after the first phase of elections. He left his phone behind at home as he mediated at Vipasna center in Dhankot near Rajkot city.

While none of the senior Congress leaders was available, their personal secretaries and family members said they were busy attending social functions and party meetings.

While Arjun Modhwadia was reportedly holding a meeting with senior party leaders discussing how many seats Congress was likely to win, party's election campaign committee chairman Shankersinh Vaghela was said to have attended two weddings in Mehsana and Ahmedabad, and a social function in Gandhinagar.

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