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"Vote for strong leader and decisive government": Om Birla after casting vote in Kota

Kota: Lok Sabha Speaker and BJP candidate from Kota, Om Birla, on Friday appealed to the people to vote in large numbers for the decisive government and strong leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"I want to appeal to everyone from the Kota constituency to vote for a strong leader and a decisive government. Please come out and vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I want to ask them for their blessings as a son and as a brother. I want to appeal to my voters to come out and vote in large numbers," Birla told reporters after casting his vote.
For the third time in a row in Kota, the BJP has fielded Om Birla, who had previously registered victories in 2019 and 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He is up against Congress' Prahlad Gunjal, a former BJP leader.
Phase 2 of polling in Rajasthan is underway in Tonk-Sawai Madhopur, Ajmer, Pali, Jodhpur, Barmer, Jalore, Udaipur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Kota, and Jhalawar-Baran.
The BJP won all 25 parliamentary seats in Rajasthan in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. However, in 2019, the BJP bagged 24 seats while the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) managed to secure the other remaining seat.
Meanwhile, former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his family also cast their votes in Jodhpur. Speaking to reporters Gehlot took on PM Modi claiming that the PM had deliberately dragged the polls into non-issues.
"It is just sad that where is democracy heading? What the Prime Minister has said... he himself was mocked. I don't want to get into what he said about 'mangalsutra', election has to be fought on the basis of development - on the issues of unemployment, inflation, widening gap between poor and the rich. He is deliberately dragging it to 'mangalsutra'. What has that to do with manifesto?. With the kind of language he is using. I think for the first time, the credibility of the Prime Minister has suffered a blow. People came to know that he lies," he said.
Initially, 89 constituencies were scheduled to go to polls today. However, the EC later announced that the voting in Madhya Pradesh's Betul would not take place during the second phase due to the death of a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate.
The first phase of voting for the seven-phased Lok Sabha election, the world's largest electoral exercise, was held on April 19 in 102 constituencies across 21 states and UTs. According to the Election Commission, the voter turnout registered was over 62 per cent. The third phase election will be held on May 7.

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