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Gujarat sees 68 pc voter turnout

Ahmedabad, Dec 13, 2012 , DHNS: 0:26 IST

High percentage cheers both BJP and Congress

The first phase of Gujarat elections went off peacefully on Thursday with a high voter turnout of around 68 per cent giving reason for both the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress to believe that voting had taken place in their favour respectively.

The voting percentage in the previous election was 59 per cent. State Congress president Arjun Modhwadia said, “the high turnout is an indication that the people are against the present regime and that they have believed in our words.’’ He said that there were recent results including that of Uttar Pradesh which showed that a high turnout was against the ruling party and was for the Opposition. Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutsi described the high voter turnout as historic and said that the election in the state passed off without any major incident. Chief Election Officer Anita Karwal said that the EC also expected the second phase turnout to be higher than the first round.

Analysts say that the Keshubhai factor also cannot be ruled out in the Leuva Patel dominant Saurashtra region. Even Keshubhai Patel said that the turnout should be a signal for Modi that the people of this state do not want him for another five years. The BJP, however, sees the high turnout as a verdict in their favour. “There is no anger against Modi and if people have cast their votes they have definitely exercised their right in favour of Modi,” said BJP spokesperson Vijay Rupani.

He said that the youth turnout was highest and the number of women voters were also seen in large numbers. “These are the two sections which are in favour of Modi and that is one of the reasons to believe that the vote was in favour of Modi and in favour of BJP.”

In the first phase, as many as 87 Assembly seats covering 15 districts of Saurashtra and South Gujarat and four seats from Ahmedabad District witnessed polling. According to Karwal, Tapi district in south Gujarat voted the highest with 76 per cent of turnout while Jamnagar district recorded the least voter turnout at 63 per cent.

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