New Delhi, Apr 23, 2019 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a ride in an open SUV this morning as he made his way to Ahmedabad to cast his vote in the third phase of the national election. Surrounded by his bodyguards, PM Modi waved to a long line of people who waved back at him, in a roadshow-like display, NDTV reported.
PM Modi also met his mother and took her blessings in Gandhinagar before he went to Ahmedabad, 25 km apart. In a photo, he is seen with his hands folded and touching the feet of his mother, Heeraben Modi, 98.
After voting, he walked in a procession on the streets of Ahmedabad.
"Urging all those voting in today’s Third Phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections to do so in record numbers. Your vote is precious and will shape the direction our nation takes in the years to come," PM Modi tweeted this morning.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and BJP president Amit Shah will also be on the ballot today, besides a slew of heavyweights. More than 18 crore voters - nearly three times the population of the UK - in 13 states and two union territories, including all of Gujarat, Kerala and half of Karnataka, will line up to decide their fate.
Amit Shah tweeted this morning, "...May your one vote go towards the security, pride and respect of this country."
The 26 seats in Gujarat - all of which the BJP won in 2014 - and Kerala - whose 20 seats are a major base for the opposition Left and the Congress - are going to vote in this round. The BJP will be in trouble if it slips in Gujarat, the home turf of its two biggest leaders - PM Modi and Mr Shah.
The Congress and the Left, which are contesting the state separately, must stop an incursion by the BJP if they want to prevail ultimately on May 23 Results Day.