Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday flashed a victory sign after casting his vote in the last phase of polling for Assembly elections, signalling his confidence of returning to power for a third term.
"I thank all the voters. In this election, people of Gujarat will make a hat-trick by giving a third term to us. People of the state will once again vote BJP to power. The sentiments of people here is giving you an clear indication of that," Modi told Press Trust of India.
Modi said that the issues of "good governance and development" made for "historic" elections this year. "It is a very peaceful election, it was such an election which has been contested by the people of Gujarat themselves...it was an election where youth and women folk had taken up the responsibility on their shoulders," he said, adding that his 3D poll campaign also made the elections memorable.
Contesting from Maninagar, Modi exercised his voting rights at Nishan High School, located in Ranip locality of Ahmedabad. Tight security arrangements were in place as the BJP strongman, accompanied by thousands of supporters, made his way out of the school.
Soon after Modi left the polling station, the opposition Congress complained about the CM holding a procession while going to cast his vote, IBN Live reported. A complaint was reportedly filed with the Election Commission about his mode of conduct.
Apart from Modi, BJP candidate Amit Shah, Shankersinh Vaghela and Jaynarayan Vyas are also contesting on Monday's polls. New entrant and Congress candidate Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt who took on Modi for his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots, is also contesting for the elections.
A total of 820 candidates from 182 constituencies are contesting for 95 seats in the 182-member Assembly this phase.
Voting began at 8 am in 95 constituencies and 20 percent polling was registered till 11 am. The first phase of polling saw a record turnover of over 68 percent on Thursday.