Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today cast his vote at a polling booth here, and appealed to the people to come out in large numbers to exercise their right to franchise. The Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat stood in a queue to vote at the Chimanbhai Institute in the Vejalpur Assembly constituency here, with voters eagerly taking selfies with him. “Since the last many years we have made good progress in our development journey, and I am confident that people of Gujarat will come out in large numbers to vote for development,” the minister said. “I would also appeal to the people to come out and exercise their franchise and continue the journey,” he said. The BJP has fielded its MLA from the constituency Kishore Chauhan this time as well. He is fighting against Congress candidate Mihir Shah. After an acrimonious campaign, voting for the second and final phase of the Gujarat assembly elections is under way today in 93 seats in North and Central Gujarat.
Around 2.22 crore voters are eligible to exercise franchise today to choose between the two main contenders, the BJP and the Congress. A total of 851 candidates are in the fray for the second phase. The first phase of voting, held on December 9, covered 89 seats of the 182-member House. The election is being seen as a “prestige battle” for Prime Minister Modi and a litmus test for the leadership of Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi. In the 2012 Assembly polls, the BJP won 115 seats while the Congress bagged 61. The votes will be counted on December 18.