As the nation goes to polls in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections, in which 117 seats across 15 states and Union territories are voting, fate of many ministers and politicians are at stake. Among them are president of Congress party Rahul Gandhi who is contesting from Wayanad and president of BJP contesting from Gandhinagar.
Amidst the contest between the leaders, there are few senior leaders who are not in the election fray but are heavyweights in their region. BJP patriarch LK Advani is one of them. On Tuesday, LK Advani arrived at his poll booth at Shahpur Hindi school in Ahmedabad East to cast his vote. Gujarat that polls on all 26 seats on Tuesday, April 23, is the home turf of PM Modi, BJP president Amit Shah as well as party founder LK Advani.
After casting his vote, Advani reassured victory for his party in his three-word sentence:
"Jeet Humari Hogi", Advani said gesturing the huge crowd of the victory of his party.
He was accompanied by his daughter Pratibha Advani and his long-time aide Deepak Chopra. The humungous gathering surrounding him showed the weight he carries on people, despite not contesting the Lok Sabha polls in 2019. This is the first election when Advani is not in the poll fray, since the time he joined politics.
This decision came after the BJP decided that candidates above the age of 75 will not contest the elections. earlier Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, defending his party's stance had said: "In every party, by the law of nature, after some age, everyone has to retire. We have respect, regard and recognition for Advaniji and Joshiji. They are still our guide, philosopher, inspiration and motivation," he said.
While the ruling BJP won all the 26 seats in Gujarat in the 2014 general elections, the assembly elections in Gujarat in 2017 witnessed a stronger showing by the Congress party.
The seat of Gandhinagar in the state capital has been under BJP control for three decades. It was represented in Parliament by the party's founder-member LK Advani and the candidature of Shah was announced amid a huge controversy over the removal of the 91-year-old Advani. Advani was a six-term member from the seat.