BJP national president JP Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal among others urged voters to cast their votes in the first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections on Thursday.
Taking to Twitter, Nadda appealed to all the State's people to vote in large numbers for peace, development and prosperity.
"Today is the first phase of polling in Gujarat. I appeal to all the brothers and sisters to vote in large numbers for peace, development and prosperity in the state, this is the main pillar of progress. Your participation in this great festival of democracy will play an important role in building a developed Gujarat," he said.
The Union Home Minister Amit Shah urged voters of the first phase to vote with unprecedented enthusiasm and numbers to continue this development journey.
"In the last two decades, Gujarat has become synonymous with development and peace, which every Indian is proud of. But this was possible because of the strong government elected by the people of Gujarat. I appeal to the voters of the first phase to vote with unprecedented enthusiasm and numbers to continue this development journey," Shah tweeted.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel also appealed to voters to vote in large numbers and contribute to strengthening democracy.
The Gujarat Chief Minister also said he had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"As the first phase of Gujarat assembly elections is going on today, I appeal to all the voters to vote in large numbers and contribute to strengthening the democracy. Prime Minister Narendrabhai Modi has also had a telephonic conversation with me in this regard and wished me well," Patel tweeted.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi appealed to voters of Gujarat to vote for employment, cheap gas cylinder and a progressive future for the State.
"There is an appeal to all the brothers and sisters of Gujarat, vote...for employment, cheap gas cylinder, for loan waiver of farmers, for the progressive future of Gujarat, vote in large numbers and make this festival of democracy a success," Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet.
Kejriwal said that the voters of the first phase have a golden opportunity, do vote for a better future of Gujarat.
"Voting is being held on 89 seats in the first phase of Gujarat elections today. My appeal to all the voters of the assembly constituencies where voting is taking place in Gujarat today- "You have a golden opportunity, do vote for the better future of Gujarat and your children, this time do something big," said Delhi CM.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia urged voters to vote for good education, job for every youth and good health facilities for every citizen of Gujarat.
"Appeal to all the people of Gujarat- Give your vote for good education to every child, job to every youth and good health facilities to every citizen of Gujarat. Only on the basis of your vote, your own family and the entire Gujarat will move towards progress and prosperity," Sisodia tweeted.
Polling for the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly election began at 8 am on Thursday amid tight security arrangements.
The polling is taking place in 89 constituencies spread across 19 districts of Kutch, Saurashtra and South Gujarat.
A total of 2,39,76,670 voters who will cast their votes by 5 pm today will decide the fate of 788 candidates who are in the fray for the first phase.
Out of the total number of electorates, 1,24,33,362 are males, 1,1,5,42,811 females and 497 are from the third gender. Over 4 lakh PWD voters are eligible to cast their votes.Nearly 9.8 lakh senior citizen voters (80+) and nearly 10,000 voters who are 100 and above are eligible to vote.
According to the EC, there are 5,74,560 voters who are between 18 to 19 years of age while 4,945 voters are above 99 years of age. There are 163 NRI voters, of which 125 are men and 38 are women.
There are 14,382 voting centres, out of which 3,311 are in the urban areas and 11,071 in the rural areas.
Among prominent candidates, Gujarat Chief Minster Bhupendra Patel is contesting from Ghatlodia, AAP Chief Ministerial candidate Isudan Gadhvi from Khambhaliya, former Congress leader and BJP candidate Hardik Patel from Viramgam, former Congress leader and now BJP candidate Alpesh Thakor from Gandhinagar South.
AAP state president Gopal Italia is contesting from Katargam constituency, Gujarat Home Minister (State) Harsh Sanghavi from Majura, Rivaba Jadeja from Jamnagar North, former Gujarat minister Parshottam Solanki from Bhavnagar Rural, Kunwarji Bavaliya from Jasdan, Kantilal Amrutiya from Morbi and Jayesh Radadiya from Jetpur.
Former BJP MLA Madhu Shrivastav is contesting as an Independent from Vaghodia.
The counting of votes will be done on December 8. Results of the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections will also be declared on the same day. (ANI)