Modi thanks voters, predicts saffron party victory

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Ahmedabad, Dec 16 (UNI) A massive reaction of BJP supporters was seen across Central and North Gujarat in the second half of today's polling, when large number of them queued up in front of Polling booths to cast their votes amid reports that minority communities have cast their votes in full strength during the early hours.

The North and Central Gujarat, which was worst affected by Godhra riots, witnessed long queues with several old timers saying the voting was brisk.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi, in a statement, thanked the people of Gujarat for turning out in high numbers to peacefully exercise their franchise. He also termed the higher number of voting percentage as a slap on the Opposition Congress.

Mr Modi also claimed that the enthusiatic voting was an indication of change in the political scenario in national politics and soon Saffron flag will be furled all over the country.

While polling in the first two hours was less than ten per cent, it picked up sharply later and the day closed with around 60 per cent polling. The voting percentage in real terms, was higher because the Election Commission (EC) had identified nearly eight per cent electorate who had shifted from their existing address and to prevent bogus voting, it had issued specific direction for voting of 'shifted person'.

The highly political and communal divided state, was the centre of major political activities for the past three weeks and heat was generated by Congress President Sonia Gandhi's statement on December 1, calling Mr Modi as 'merchants of death'.

There were long queues of minority voters in Godhra, Nadiad and several parts of Ahmedabad and Vadodara. A large number of people of the majority communities moved in their respecitve polls from 1100 hrs to caste their votes.

Political leaders were surprised over the huge turnout in both phases as they were worried over the ''attendance during the public meetings of their leaders''.

The passion for voting could also be gauged from the fact that thousands of voters, who were having EPICs, were not allowed to vote as their names were not in the electrol rolls.

In Ahmedabad, several complaints that the names of voters were missing from the lists poured in to Election office. In Jamalpur, Khadia and Maninagar (where the Chief Minister is contesting), a large number of people complained their names were missing.

UNI

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