Ahmedabad: Patidar quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel and Congress leader Alpesh Thakor on Thursday cast their votes in Gujarat, where polling is underway for the second and final phase of assembly elections on 93 seats.
Patel and Thakor, the face of OBC community in Gujarat, cast their ballots at different polling stations in the Viramgam assembly constituency of Ahmedabad district. Thakor, who spearheaded the OBC campaign in the state before formally joining the opposition party, was among the first voters to exercise their right to franchise.
Voting for the second phase began at 8 am.
The 40-year-old OBC leader is now the Congress candidate from Radhanpur in Patan district, where he is taking on BJP's Lavangji Thakor. Thakor sounded confident about his party, which is in the opposition for over two decades, winning this election. "It is a matter of happiness for me that I was the first voter to cast vote at my polling booth. We are committed to change the kind of politics happening in the state. The Congress is set to form the next government that will work for the poor, farmers, women and all sections of the society," he told reporters after coming out of the polling booth.
Tejashriben Patel had won from Viramgam in 2012 as the Congress candidate. She later switched side and is now the BJP candidate from the same constituency. She is pitted against Congress' Lakhabhai Bharwad.
Hardik Patel, who has taken a pro-Congress and an anti-BJP stance, told reporters he has appealed to his supporters to cast their votes against the saffron outfit.
Asked which party is he backing after he exercised his franchise, the 24-year-old quota stir leader said, "We are fighting against the BJP. Thus, it is natural that we will be supporting the Congress."
A total of 851 candidates are in the fray for the second phase which covers 93 seats in north and central Gujarat. The first phase of voting for the 182-member house, held on 9 December, covered 89 seats.
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Updated Date: Dec 14, 2017 15:21:20 IST