In one of the polling booth in Gujarat's Bharuch, a newly-married couple was the centre of attraction as they arrived to cast their vote just before their wedding ceremony.
"I am about to get married today, but as these are the biggest elections we came here and gave our votes. As an Indian citizen it is our duty and responsibility to vote," said the groom.
The bride on the other hand was excited and happy to be able vote on her wedding day. "This made my wedding day more special," she said.
As the polling process began at 8 am on Saturday, people were seen stepping out of their homes despite cold weather and queuing up to exercise their franchise at the polling stations.
A total of 977 candidates are in the fray in the first phase of Gujarat elections from Kutch, Morbi, Jamnagar, Surendranagar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Rajkot, Botad, Porbandar, Junagadh, Amreli, Gir Somnath, Bhavnagar, Bharuch, Narmada, Surat, Tapi, Navsari, Dang and Valsad districts. Of the 89 seats, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party holds 67 and the Congress 16. One seat each is held by the NCP and JD-U while independents hold the remaining two.
Of the 2,12,31,652 voters, 1,11,05,933 are males and 1,01,25,472 females while 247 are from the third gender.
The second phase polling is on December 14 and counting, along with that of Himachal Pradesh, will be held on December 18.