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Rubbishing surveys, Modi promises sweep
November 19, 2007 23:25 IST
Notwithstanding a recent survey giving the faction-ridden Bharatiya Janata Party a slight edge over the opposition in the ensuing assembly elections in Gujarat, Chief Minister Narendra Modi said he's confident that the party will retain power by a thumping majority.
"There is need to conduct a survey on the surveys that have been carried out on the elections in the past five years. The science of opinion polls (psephology) is not developed in India as it is in other countries," Modi said.
The survey by media groups said despite Modi's popularity, he was not invincible.
Asked about his assessment on the impact the rebel factor would have on BJP's electoral chances, Modi said a clear picture is yet to emerge.
"We have to wait until the process of ticket distribution by all major parties is completed to assess the impact of the rebel factor."
He said the BJP is likely to announce its candidates for all the 182 constituencies in Gujarat by November 28.
On the names of 13 sitting MLAs not figuring in the list of 75 candidates announced by the party on Sunday, Modi disagreed that they were dropped.
"Those who have not been given tickets have completed their five-year terms as legislators. If they had been dropped mid-way through their tenure, then it would have been in consonance with the word dropped but it is not the case here," he said.
"Emergence of new faces in any field is part of a cycle which cannot be stopped and it keeps happening every time and everywhere," he said.
Asked about the campaign slogan "Jeetega Gujarat", Modi said it meant that against all odds and opposition from "anti-Gujarati elements", the state would continue to touch new heights.
Noting that women have an important part to play in the state's progress, he said nearly 7,000 women activists of the BJP were occupying different positions in the civic bodies of Gujarat.
He hoped the number of women legislators would increase during this election.
"From the party's point of view, the focus in the ensuing polls would be on women candidates," he said.