Gujarat Assembly elections: BJP leads in 150 seats, Congress in 18 as counting of votes progresses
Ahmedabad, December 8, 2022
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been in power in Gujarat for 27 years, was headed for another five-year term in office with leads in an overwhelming 150 of the 182 constituencies as early trends became available after counting of votes was taken up this morning.
The Congress, struggling to remain relevant in the state, was leading in 18 constituencies and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), hoping to establish a foothold, was ahead in six. Independent candidates were leading in three constituencies while a Samajwad Party nominee was ahead in one.
Counting of votes began at 8 am amidst tight security at 37 counting centres across the state and all the results are expected by this evening.
Of the 37 counting centres, there are three in Ahmedabad, two each in Surat and Anand, and one each in the other districts.
Counting of votes was taken up for postal ballots first at 8 am and shall continue till its completion. Half an hour later, counting of votes in the electronic voting machines (EVMs), was taken up.
The Election Commission of India has deputed one counting observer for each of the 182 assembly constituencies. In addition, two Special Observers are on the ground in the state to ensure smooth counting.
Apart from the 182 returning officers, there are also 494 assistant returning officers. As many as 78 additional assistant election officers and an equal number for Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballots have also been deployed, Chief Electoral Officer P Bharati said on Wednesday.
All counting centres are equipped with CCTV cameras.
Polling in the elections was held in two phases on December 1 and 5, with 64.22 per cent of the 4.91 crore voters turning out to exercise their franchise, which works out to more than 3.16 crores votes cast on the two days.
In the 2017 general elections, 2,94,64,326 votes were polled, with a voter turnout of 68.39 per cent, of which BJP polled 1,47,24,031, 49.05 per cent votes and 99 seats, whereas the Congress got 1,24,37,661 votes, 41.44 per cent and 77 seats.
The five-year term of the current Gujarat Assembly, which was constituted on February 19, 2018, will end on February 18, 2023.