This Gujarat election, almost every candidate has a label. Some are known for their proximity to the two big parties' top brass -- the Modi clique in the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Ahmed Patel group in the Congress, for instance.
If not a clique, they blatantly flaunt their caste. Koli, Leuva Patel and Kadva Patel being some of the most dominant.
In such a polarised field, it is but natural that a rookie who is an Ayurvedic doctor and served nine years in the army, including a stint at the highest battlefield in the world, Siachen, stands out.
"It is this very same curiosity factor that has become my visiting card with the people," 32-year-old retired Major Ketan Mehta says.
Mehta, who joined the army in 1998 and took voluntary retirement on November 22, 2007, in order to come back home and contest the election, is running for the prestigious Porbandar constituency in the Saurashtra region that will go to polls in the first phase on December 11.
Photographs Courtesy: Retired Major Ketan Mehta
Also read: Gujarat Election, 2007