"The BJP has been ruling Gujarat for the last 22 years".
Among the key candidates in the fray include Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani from Rajkot (West), Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani from Bhavnagar (West), senior Congress leaders Shaktisinh Gohil from Mandvi (Kutch), Arjun Modhvadia from Porbandar and Paresh Dhanani from Amreli, all from Saurashtra-Kutch region.
Saurashtra and Kutch have the maximum number of constituencies that vote in the first phase today and are seen as crucial.
Rupani, who is the incumbent chief minister of the state and is leading BJP in Gujarat, is going to bag 78 seats while remaining 4 seats will go to others.
"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.
There has been reports of EVM glitches in over 50 places in the first hour of polling.
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Addressing a rally in Gujarat's Lunavada, Modi said, "There is a youth Congress leader Salman Nizami".
Till 12 noon, 21.09 percent voting was recorded in the all the 89 assembly constituencies in Saurashtra and South Gujarat region, which are voting to send their representatives in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly. Urging all those voting today to turnout in record numbers and vote.
As per the latest data released by the Election Commission, 35.52 per cent voters exercised their franchise between 8 am and 2 pm.
For Opposition Congress, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi led the campaign.
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