Second phase sees 68.70% turnout

About 68.70% of over 2.23 crore voters cast their ballot in the second and final phase of Gujarat Assembly election on Thursday.

People from across 14 districts of Central and North Gujarat voted to elect 93 legislators from 851 candidates to the 182-seat Gujarat Assembly.

The turnout is slightly higher than the first phase of polling which was 66.75% for 89 Assembly constituencies in Saurashtra-Kutch and South Gujarat region. With this, the total voting percentage in Gujarat polls stood at 67.75%.

Voting remained largely peaceful, barring initial complaints of EVMs not working in some booths. "We received reports that some EVMs and VVPATs did not function properly during dummy runs and we got them changed immediately," said B B Swain, Gujarat chief electoral officer.

A few skirmishes were reported from Shahpur in Ahmedabad, Charda village in Dhanera constituency of Banaskantha district and from Hassanpur village of Visnagar constituency, where two groups clashed, injuring 15 people. The poll panel said the incidents took place outside voting areas and that they had no bearing on the election process.

Rupani hopeful

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani expressed confidence that the BJP will win 150+ seats. "The BJP is going to form government in the state for the next five years," he said.

Senior Congress leader and candidate from Porbandar, Arjun Modhwadia, said the election "will end BJP rule in the state".

The Congress is hoping to make a dent in the BJP bastions of Saurashtra-Kutch, South and Central Gujarat, as well as to keep its house in North Gujarat intact with the Patel-OBC-Dalit support of three leaders Hardik, Alpesh and Jignesh.

The ruling BJP, on the other hand, is pinning its hopes on the prime minister's persona, 'micro-management' of elections by party president Amit Shah as well as the huge advantage it has had so far in vote share, especially in 84 seats of urban Gujarat where it had won 59.5% vote share, compared to 32.8% by the Congress in 2012.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry