The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday lashed out at Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) chief Keshubhai Patel for targetting Chief Minister Narendra Modi, and said the candidates of the former's party would lose all their deposits in the assembly polls.
Vijay Rupani, who is the General Secretary of Gujarat Pradesh BJP, said the people of the state do not know any of the leaders of Patel's at Gujarat Parivartan Party.
"This is an election statement. Actually, the people here do not any of the GPP leaders. I believe that the GPP candidates will also lose all their deposits. The government will be formed of Modiji," said Rupani.
"People supporting the BJP and those willing to make Narendra Modi the chief minister of the state have come out in the open to cast their votes. The environment in the city is in favour of the BJP," he added.
Rupani pointed out that the people of Gujarat are very clever and would never accept a third force.
The BJP leader further said the voters' turnout earlier this morning was very enthusiastic.
"I have never seen such an environment before. The voting begins at 8 a.m., but the people were standing in the queue before time. So, it clearly indicates that there is enthusiasm among the voters, which will be profitable for the BJP," he added.
Keshubhai Patel earlier today claimed that Narendra Modi would be thrown out of power after the assembly polls.
"There is a wave of change in entire Gujarat now, be it the tribal areas, coastal region, Ahmedabad, towns or villages," said Patel.
"People have rejected him. The children poke fun at him. Narendra Modi will go this time," he added.
Polling in 87 constituencies for the first phase of assembly polls began at 8 a.m. amidst tight security in the state.
The fate of 846 candidates will be decided in this phase, out of which 46 are women.
Prominent candidates in this phase include Keshubhai Patel, Assembly Speaker Ganpat Vasava, Gujarat BJP President RC Faldu, State Congress President Arjun Modhwadia and Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil.
Out of total 1,81,77,953 voters, there are 95,75,278 males, 86,02,557 females and 118 other voters.
For this phase, BJP has fielded candidates on all 87 seats going to the poll, whereas Congress is contesting on 84 seats.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polling. A total of 44, 579 polling stations have been set up. Moreover, it is for the first time that senior police officials from other states have been deployed by the Election Commission of India as police observers in all sensitive districts.
The polling will come to an end at 5 p.m.
The second phase of polling in Gujarat will take place on December 17. The counting of votes will take place on December 20.