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Under Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister, the BJP won three previous Assembly polls and in the process transformed Saurashtra-Kutch region.

Rahul also grilled the PM for the failure of BJP to release the party manifesto for Gujarat election until a day before the polling began for the first phase of elections.

NEW DELHI (AP) - Voters in the western Indian state of Gujarat are casting ballots in local elections that are seen as a crucial test of the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party.

In the first two hours, several important leaders and candidates cast their votes, including Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, his opponent in Rajkot-West seat Indranil Rajyaguru, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani and Congress lawmaker from Amreli seat Paresh Dhanan.

The Gandhi scion also attacked Modi for not answering any of the 10 questions that he had put up daily ahead of the Gujarat polls and wondered why the issue of development didn't find any space in his poll speeches.

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"It is the home state of PM Modi and it will become the base for the Lok Sahba 2019 elections", Navjot, chairwoman of Panjab University's political science department, said.

The polling began at 8 a.m. and will continue till 5 p.m. Urging all those voting today to turnout in record numbers and vote.

From the beginning the region witnessed highly electrified campaigning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP's national president Amit Shah and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani being the star campaigners of the BJP.

The Election Commission said 30.31 per cent voters exercised their franchise between 8am and 12pm.

For Opposition Congress, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi led the campaign.


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