Advani casts vote in Guj, parries queries on Modi

Ahmedabad, Apr 30: BJP leader L K Advani on Wednesday described this year's Lok Sabha polls as the "most remarkable election ever held in the history of India" but parried queries on the prospects of Narendra Modi becoming the Prime Minister.

Advani, along with his son Jayant and daughter Pratibha Advani, cast his vote at a municipal school in Shahpur area in Ahmedabad west constituency, where BJP's sitting MP Kirit Solanki is locked in a battle with Congress candidate Ishwar Chavda and AAP nominee J J Mewada.

Advani, who is seeking re-election from Gandhinagar which too went to polls today, said that he would be happy if the Election Commission succeeds and raised the issue of compulsory voting, of which he has been a strong votary.

"I have seen all the elections since 1947. I have seen the first election held in 1952 until now and I can say this is the most remarkable election ever held in the history of the country," the 86-year-old leader said.

"I compliment the Election Commission for the manner in which they tried to see that all the voters are included in the election list. In the entire world, India's parliament is the biggest. So the citizens who cast their vote today should consider themselves as fortunate," he added.

The former Deputy Prime Minister said, "Whenever the Lok Sabha polls are held, all the people have participated with fervour. That is a matter of pride."

He, however, refused to answer any political questions, saying, "I am not going to comment on politics and will be restricted to the parliamentary election process."

"So far as other questions are concerned, I will not answer any except to say that I would be happy if the Election Commission succeeds," the veteran leader said on queries about Modi, with whom he shared frosty ties.

Advani said, "The results would not surprise any one. There is something to happen, it would be positive. Till now, the election trend has shown record polling. Here in Gujarat also it will be the record polling."

Advocating compulsory voting, the BJP veteran suggested, "It would be good if the country adopts compulsory voting as in many countries mandatory voting is in practice."

"I am of the view that in India there should be no fine attached to failure to vote. If at all the penalty is to be provided the penalty should be confined to not allowing him to vote in the immediately following elections," he said.

Earlier, speaking to reporters, Modi's close aide Amit Shah said there is a wave of change in the country.

"People need a good and a patriotic government. They want security and relief from inflation and unemployment. I have travelled to many states especially UP and Gujarat. These states have big wave in favour of BJP," he said.

He said Modi has become symbol of change and he would solve all the problems that have emerged during the last 10 years of the UPA rule. "Change is imminent when results will be announced on May 16. Modi will become the Prime Minister of the country," he said.


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