After scaling a pole in BJP's stronghold, Congress candidate Madhusudan Mistry will be looking for a 'poll vault' to trump the formidable BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in this industrial city which votes on April 30.
Labelled as a 'no-contest' by BJP, the duel between Modi and Mistry is marked by stunts and personal attacks by the Congress leader while the saffron party's pin-up hero is busy touring the nation and has not come after filing his nomination in Vadodara, where the party has never lost in 16 years.
BJP workers have pulled up their socks so that their most popular leader is elected with the highest margin than any other candidate contesting 2014 polls. The city is strewn with posters, banners and billboards, hailing Modi and his vision for India.
Defending Modi's physical absence so far in the city, BJP says there is no need for the leader to campaign here when he is busy canvassing in other parts of the country.
In the 2012 assembly polls also, BJP won six out of seven assembly segments in this area. The Independent candidate, who won the seventh seat, has also joined BJP now.
On the other hand, 67-year-old Mistry is banking on massive mass contact programmes to turn the tables around.
With over 15 lakh electorate in the Vadodara seat, both BJP and Congress are making all efforts to woo voters.
Modi has chosen this seat over any other constituency of the state like Ahmedabad East from where he could have easily won, to maximize his margin of win, BJP party leaders said.
Congress had earlier given ticket to local leader Narendra Rawat. However, after BJP fielded Modi from here, Congress changed the contestant by fielding Mistry, who had steered the party to victory in states like Karnataka.
For Congress, the odds are stacked against them, but that hasn't stopped it from putting its best foot forward.
From climbing a pole for pasting his poster on the ones portraying Modi, to flaying the BJP leader on 'hiding' his marital status for so long, old warhorse Mistry is leaving no stone unturned.
Congress is campaigning hard when Modi is missing on the streets of Vadodara. Modi, who represents the state Legislative Assembly from Maninagar area in Ahmedabad, will also be fighting from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
"There seems to be a some kind of notion that BJP will get votes in the name of Modi, but we have a different strategy. Voters are the rulers of this country and we must approach them," Mistry said.