Leaders from different parties and governors of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh were prominent among those who cast their votes in Gujarat on Tuesday in the Lok Sabha polls and appealed to the people of the state to come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.
All these prominent leaders, who are registered voters in Gujarat, exercised their franchise at polling booths in different cities in the state which had a single phase voting for its 26 Lok Sabha seats.
While Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel voted at a polling booth in Silaj locality of Ahmedabad, her Karnataka counterpart Vajubhai Vala, a former Gujarat minister, cast his ballot at a booth in Rajkot.
“Everybody should vote. It is a part of our duty. And every voter should do his duty. I appeal all to vote,” Patel, a former Gujarat chief minister, said.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, accompanied by his wife Anjali, exercised his democratic right at a polling booth in his hometown Rajkot.
Talking to reporters later, Rupani said, “Gujarat is witnessing voting in large number since morning. Both of us have voted. The way people of Gujarat are voting since morning shows people in the state have made up their mind to see Narendrabhai (Modi) become the prime minister again, and the BJP will win all the 26 seats.”
Gujarat Governor O P Kohli voted in Gandhinagar, while former chief minister Keshubhai Patel cast his ballot in Rajkot.
Other leaders who voted in the first half of the day included senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Shaktisinh Gohil, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel of the BJP, state Congress president Amit Chavda, Congress leader Hardik Patel and Thakor Sena leader Alpesh Thakor, who recently parted ways with the Congress.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s wife Jashodaben also voted at a polling booth at Unjha in Mehsana district.
Ahmed Patel, a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, voted at a polling booth at Piramal in Ankleshwar.
Talking to reporters later he said, “The way BJP is agitated, shows it will be defeated and a government under Congress leadership will be formed in Delhi. The way state and central governments have worked, I am confident the people of Gujarat will make up for the assembly election (which the Congress lost in 2017) in the Lok Sabha polls. We will win seats in double digits.”
The main opposition party had drawn a blank in the 2014 general elections.
Former chief minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP leader Shankersinh Vaghela voted at a polling booth in Gandhinagar.
Young Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who joined the Congress last month and quickly emerged as its star campaigner, cast his vote at a polling booth in Viramgam in Mehsana district.
He later said, “Everybody should vote to realise the dreams of Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi. If a single vote can make India prosperous and a world leader, then everybody should vote. People should vote keeping in mind the issues that affect them, like the issues of farmers, youth, employment.”