NAGPUR: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat was among the early ones to cast his vote for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls in Nagpur, Maharashtra, on Thursday.
Union Minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari is the BJP's candidate from Nagpur, while Congress has given ticket to Nana Patole. It is to be noted that Nana Patole was once a BJP MP.
Bhagwat and RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi arrived together at a polling booth at Bhauji Daftari School in Mahal area around 6.50 am. Talking to media after casting his vote, Bhagwat appealed the voters to exercise their voting rights. "Voting is necessary and a sacred responsibility of all. Vote for national security, development and identity," he said.
Referring to the None of the Above (NOTA) option available on the electronic voting machines (EVMs) for those voters who do not want to cast their voters in favour of any candidate in the fray, the RSS chief said that one must say what he/she wants. "Being quiet does not work, you have to say yes or no," he said.
Joshi also appealed the people to vote in record numbers and cast their vote in favour of the suitable candidate. "I hope the government elected after polls will work in the interest of the nation," he added.
Polling for the first phase of Lok Sabha poll started at 7 AM in Maharashtra's seven constituencies - Nagpur, Wardha, Ramtek, Bhandara-Gondiya, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli-Chimur and Yavatmal-Washim. All these seats are in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed the voters to turn out in record numbers to exercise their voting rights in the first phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha poll.
"2019 Lok Sabha elections commence today. I call upon all those whose constituencies are voting in the first phase today to turn out in record numbers and exercise their franchise. I specially urge young and first-time voters to vote in large numbers," the Prime Minister tweeted.