By Vera Sam Anyagafu
Millions of Indians on Tuesday voted in the third and largest phase of staggered general elections, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who cast his ballot in his home state of Gujarat and again underlined his focus on combating terrorism. About 188 million eligible Indians voted in 117 constituencies across 15 states and federally-controlled territories.
Also, about 66 percent of those eligible had voted by the end of the day’s voting, according to the interim figures from the election commission.
Meanwhile, the Overseas Friends of Bharatiya Janata Party (OFBJP), Nigeria Chapter, has listed the achievements of Modi since assumption of office, and called on all Indians to support the PM.
According to the Sanjay Srivastava, Organiser and President, OFBJP Nigeria, Modi’s achievements include economic reform, fight against corruption, social justice, good governance, cleanliness, health and sanitation.
While decrying the low voting percentage of people, which he claimed, may lead to the right candidate not being elected due to anticipated low-voter turnout, Srivastava urged all and sundry to vote en-masse for Modi.
“Job creation, sustainable development, and communal harmony are among the top priorities for the upcoming government,” Srivastava said.
In Gujarat, Modi met his mother early in the morning and then rode in an open jeep past hundreds of onlookers to cast his vote shortly after 8 a.m. (0230 GMT)
“IED is a weapon of terrorism, and voter ID is a weapon of democracy,” Modi told reporters after voting, referring to improvised explosive devices and voter identification cards.
“I believe the voter ID is much more powerful than an IED.”
The general election, which has seven phases, began on April 11 and will end on May 19. Votes will be counted on May 23.
“This is, sort of, an inflection point,” said Rahul Verma, a fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, a New Delhi-based think-tank. More than half of constituencies will have voted by the end of the third phase.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has aggressively pushed Modi’s national security record as it seeks to deflect opposition accusations of economic mismanagement, inadequate job creation and widespread farm distress.