Gujarat Elections 2017: It's testing time for BJP and Congress

Updated: Dec 10, 2017, 09:42 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

PM Modi faces a perfect storm in his home state, but the election is as much a test for him as it is for the Gandhi scion taking over opposition Congress; Jaitley assures a landslide for BJP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday urged the youth to turn out in large numbers to cast their vote in phase one of Gujarat assembly polls. "Phase one of Gujarat polls begin.

PM Modi are locked in a bitter political battle after a 22-year BJP reign
PM Modi

Urging all those voting today to turnout in record numbers and vote. I particularly call upon youngsters to exercise their franchise," he tweeted. On polling days, Modi usually tweets exhorting people to exercise their right to vote.

Rahul Gandhi are locked in a bitter political battle after a 22-year BJP reign
Rahul Gandhi are locked in a bitter political battle after a 22-year BJP reign

No development
During an election rally for the second phase of Assembly elections, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi stepped up attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking why there is no mention of development in his speeches during the Gujarat election campaign. He said he did not get an answer to even one of the 10 questions he had asked Modi on Gujarat's report card, despite the BJP being in power in the state for 22 years, and wondered if governance meant mere speeches.

126-year-old Ajiben arrives to cast her vote in Rajkot. pics/pti
126-year-old Ajiben arrives to cast her vote in Rajkot. Pics/PTI

'BJP has no challenges'
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani visited temple, as first phase of Gujarat polls commenced today and dismissed any questions of challenge saying that BJP will stand victorious. "People should come out in large numbers to vote. We are very confident, no question of any challenge," Vijay Rupani said.

The second phase polling is on December 14 and counting, along with that of Himachal Pradesh, will be held on December 18
The second phase polling is on December 14 and counting, along with that of Himachal Pradesh, will be held on December 18

'Will win landslide'
However, Union minister Arun Jaitley said the BJP will have a "landslide victory". Jaitley, who has campaigned in the state in the run-up to the elections, said, "The BJP estimates that we will not only get a comfortable, but a landslide win. In most places people of all sections have supported the BJP". 

At Majura assembly constituency in Surat, first time voters started playing garba after having cast their vote. PIC/chirag chautalia
At Majura assembly constituency in Surat, first time voters started playing garba after having cast their vote. Pic/chirag chautalia

The second phase will be held on December 14 for 93 assembly constituencies while counting of the votes will be done on December 18. The crucial elections are being seen as prestige battle for BJP and litmus test for the Congress.

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Couple's wedding vows with voting

Bharuch: With Gujarat going for polls today people in the state are not just taking out time from their habitual lives but also from their weddings to cast votes. In the state's Bharuch District, a couple reached the polling booth and casted their votes ahead of their marriage ceremony yesterday. Hand in hand and glowing with the happiness, the couple was set and dressed for the wedding, but first took a stop at the polling booth.

Cong complains of EVM 'tampering'
Ahmedabad: Senior Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia yesterday complained of possible EVM tampering at three polling booths in a Muslim-dominated area of Porbandar claiming that some machines were found to be connected to an external devices via bluetooth. The Election Commission said that based on the complaint, an inquiry had been initiated.

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