High voter turnout was recorded in Gujarat Wednesday, with 45 percent of the electors turning up to cast their ballot in the state's 26 Lok Sabha constituencies.
Vadodara, from where BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is contesting, recorded the highest 59 percent voting in the state till 3 p.m.
The other prominent voting figures were tabulated as: Valsad 57 percent, Bardoli 54, Porbandar 51, Bharuch 51, Anand 51, Dahod 48, Rajkot 48, Kheda 46, Kachchh 45, Sabarkantha 45, Chhota Udaipur 45, Bhavnagar 43, Banaskantha 43, Junagadh 43, Surendranagar 42, Jamnagar 42 and Amreli 39.
A total of 334 candidates, among them many bigwigs, are in the fray, including 67 Muslims - one from the Congress, seven from the Samajwadi Party and the rest nominated by regional parties or contesting as Independents.
An electorate of around 4.05 crore is eligible to exercise its franchise at 45,380 polling stations across the state.
Among the prominent BJP candidates besides Modi are senior leader L.K. Advani from Gandhinagar, and Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal (Ahmedabad east).
From the Congress, the big names are Shankarsinh Vaghela, Dinshaw Patel, Bharat M. Solanki and Tushar A. Chaudhary.
Modi cast his vote in Gandhinagar, and was seen taking a selfie of his inked finger after casting his ballot. He also flashed a paper lotus -- the BJP's poll symbol.
The BJP leader attacked the Congress, saying nothing can now save the "mother-son" government, taking a dig at Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi.
Modi said the election will ensure that the Congress is ousted, and a new and strong government comes to power.
"After analysing the election process and the voter's mind until now, I can say that this time nothing can save the 'mother-son' government... a strong government will come to power," he said after voting at the Ranip polling station in Gandhinagar.
The Congress, however, asked the Election Commission to cancel Modi's candidature from both Vadodara and Varanasi for flashing the lotus symbol, and also demanded that a first information report be registered against him for violating the model code of conduct.
Poll panel sources said they have asked the Ahmedabad collector to send a report on the issue.
SS / YS