Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday cast his vote in Gujarat for the Lok Sabha polls and said the power of a “voter ID” was much more than the “IED” (Improvised Explosive Device) of terrorists.
Mr. Modi appealed to people to come out in large numbers to vote in all the remaining phases of the Lok Sabha polls.
He arrived at a polling booth set up at Nishan High School, located in Ranip area of Ahmedabad city, in an open jeep in the morning to vote.
BJP president Amit Shah, who is contesting the Lok Sabha election from Gandhinagar constituency, which covers Ahmedabad city, welcomed him outside the school and accompanied him to the booth.
While arriving at the polling booth, Mr. Modi greeted thousands of people who gathered on both sides of the road. After casting his vote, he walked some distance from the polling booth and interacted briefly with mediapersons.
“Indian democracy presents an example before the world. While on one hand, an IED is the weapon of terrorists, on the other hand, the voter ID (identity) is the weapon and power of democracy,” he said.
“I am confident that the power of voter ID is much more than the IED and we should understand the importance of the voter ID card and come out to vote in large numbers,” he said.
Mr. Modi said he felt fortunate to participate in “the great festival of democracy” in his home state Gujarat. “The third phase of polling is taking place today in the country. I am fortunate that I also got the proud moment to fulfil my duty by voting in my home state Gujarat and to have an active participation in this great festival of democracy,” he said.
“By voting, I feel the same sense of purity that one gets after taking bath at the Kumbh mela,” he told reporters.
Urging people to vote with full enthusiasm, he said, “The intelligence of Indian voters to understand whom to vote and whom not to vote is a matter of case study.”
He also welcomed the active participation of young voters, born in the 21st century, who are exercising their franchise for the first time in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, and conveyed his best wishes to them.
“This entire century belongs to those who are voting for the first time. They have to vote for the bright future of this century. Therefore, I would especially urge the new voters to commit to hundred per cent voting,” he said.
“I am grateful to all the lovers of democracy who voted in large numbers in the first and second phases of the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister went to seek the blessings of his mother Heeraben Modi at his younger brother Pankaj Modi’s residence at Raisan village, located close to the state capital Gandhinagar.
He spent around 20 minutes with his mother, who gave him a shawl, sweets and a coconut and her blessings for his victory in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.
The Prime Minister also stayed at the Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar overnight, and in the morning, went with a limited SPG security cover to seek his mother’s blessings.
After meeting his mother, he also briefly interacted with the society residents and allowed children to take selfies with him, before leaving for Ranip to cast his vote.
The excited residents of the locality said the Prime Minister urged them to vote.