will support deserve students in higher studies. Both have special schemes to encourage education among girls and women.
And as campaigns go, while Modi has gotten personal with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul, national Congress leaders have refrained from bringing up 2002 – Sonia Gandhi had called Modi 'Maut ka Saudagar' in 2007, BUT his enemies have never stopped being stuck on 2002. Perhaps this is why the Congress has been unable to develop a proper political rhetoric that can counter a chief minister who has steadily secured the vote through a thriving economic model.
There is one thing niggling the BJP certainly, and that is the huge voter turnout, nearly 70 per cent. Everytime this has happened, a regime has changed. CPM lost Bengal when 84 per cent of the electorate came out to vote.
THE WOMEN WHO CHALLENGE MODI
Two women, both with the blessings of Modi-baiter Keshubhai Patel, will be putting up a symbolic fight to Modi. The two homemakers pitch-forked in the polls are IAS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife Shweta (Congress) who is directly taking on Modi in Maninagar and slain former BJP minister Haren Pandya's wife Jagruti (GPP, Ellisbridge seat).
Each has an axe to grind against Narendra Modi; each believes the chief minister or at least his party had wronged her husband.
Though both stress on local issues, there is no doubt they are contesting because of what happened to their husbands. “I was merely an observer when Sanjiv was fighting his battle with corruption but I decided to stand against Modi a year ago after the brutalities inflicted on my family,” says Shweta, whose husband Sanjiv Bhatt, an IPS officer now suspended, has testified that Modi had asked the police to go slow on rioters in 2002.
Jagruti’s husband, slain BJP minister Haren Pandya, had represented the seat she is contesting. “Even though I hadn’t taken the legal or political route, I have been fighting for answers for almost a decade to questions about my husband’s murder,” she says. “People may make comparisons with Shweta Bhatt, but, as far as I am concerned, people in Ellisbridge know about the good work done by my husband I