Gujarat polls: 21 p.c. polling in first 3 hours

Gujarat polls: 21 p.c. polling in first 3 hours

Gujarat polls: 21 p.c. polling in first 3 hours

An average 21 per cent voting was recorded in the first three hours across 95 seats in Gujarat where polling is underway for the second phase of elections which will decide the fate of 820 candidates including Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

“Around 20-21 per cent voting has been recorded across 95 Assembly constituencies till 11 AM, where brisk polling is underway in second phase,” a state Election Commission official said.

Mr. Modi, who is seeking a third term in office, exercised his franchise at Nishan High School in Ranip area of the city.

Confident of returning to power, Mr. Modi said, “I thank all the voters. In this election, people of Gujarat will make a hat-trick by giving a third term to us. People of the state will once again vote BJP to power...the sentiments of people here is giving you an clear indication of that“.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely casted his vote at Chimanbhai Patel Institute opposite Karnavati club.

Jagruti Pandya, the wife of slain former MoS of Home Haren Pandya casted her vote at New Sharda Mandir school in Paldi.

Shweta Bhatt, the Congress candidate contesting against the Chief Minister, exercised her franchise in Memnagar Panchayat Balmandir.

Serpentine queues were seen since morning at 23,318 polling stations, with women and youths coming out in large numbers.

From Congress, former Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela, his son Mahendra Vaghela, former state Congress president Siddharth Patel, are amongst prominent candidates contesting in phase-II.

From BJP, states spokesperson and health minister Jaynarayan Vyas, MoS for industry Saurabh Patel and revenue minister Anandi Patel, Praful Patel, controversial former MoS of Home Amit Shah, are among the prominent candidates contesting in phase-II.

Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) has fielded Jagruti Pandya, wife of slain BJP former MoS of Home Haren Pandya, from the Ellisbridge seat in Ahmedabad, where polling is taking place on Monday.

The constituencies where polling started include 17 in Ahmedabad city, 40 constituencies in five districts -- Vadodara, Dahod, Panchmahal, Kheda and Anand -- of central Gujarat, 32 seats in five districts -- Patan, Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Gandhinagar and Banaskantha -- of north Gujarat and on six seats in Kutch district.

Voting is underway on 23,318 polling stations amidst elaborate and robust security arrangements. In Ahmedabad 1,700 polling booths have been marked as critical by the Election Commission.

Around 1.98 crore voters will seal the fate of 820 candidates contesting in this phase.

Out of total 1,98,99,501 voters, there are 1,03,58,265 males, 95,41,157 females and 79 other voters who are likely to exercise their franchise.

Out of a total of 820 in this phase, 49 women candidates are in fray. BJP has fielded candidates on all 95 seats going to poll today, whereas Congress is contesting on 92 and GPP and Bahujan Samaaj Party (BSP) on 84 seats each, besides 284 independents in fray.