Gujarat Assembly elections: More than 60% turnout in first phase of polling
Ahmedabad, December 1, 2022
More than 60.48 per cent turnout was recorded in the first phase of polling for 89 of the 182 seats in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly today.
The final voting percentage is likely to be higher after information is received from all the remote polling stations is received, official sources said.
The 60.48 per cent voting is lower than 68 per cent polling registered in the last assembly elections in 2017.
Polling began at 8 am and ended at 5 pm, and was by and large peaceful, with no major untoward incident reported from any of the constituencies.
There were as many as 788 candidates, including 70 women, in the fray for the 89 seats spread across 19 districts. The constituencies where polling was held today included 54 in Saurashtra and Kutch and 35 in South Gujarat.
Most of the seats saw a triangular contest between the ruling BJP, Congress and AAP candidates.
More than 2.39 crore voters, including 1.15 crore women, were eligible to vote in the constituencies that went to the polls today.
The Election Commission had set up 25,430 poling booths, including 16,416 in rural areas and 9,014 in urban areas, and made other elaborate arrangements to ensure a free and fair poll.
The Commission deployed nearly 1.07 lakh election staff, including 27,978 presiding officers for the smooth conduct of the poll.
Prominent candidates involved in today's polling included State Education Minister Jitu Vaghani, Finance Minister Kanu Desai, Agricuture Minister Raghavji Patel, Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghvi and former Civil Supplies Minister Jayesh Radadiya.
From the Congress, former leader of opposition Paresh Dhanani, former GPCC president Arjun Modhvadia, and the party's three working presidents -- Lalit Kagathra, Ambrish Der and Rutvik Makwana -- were in the fray as wa AAP's chief ministerial face, Isudan Gadhvi.
The second and final phase of polling will be held on December 5 in the remaining 93 constituencies.
Counting of votes will be held on December 8, along with the votes cast in the single-phase election to the Himachal Pradesh Assembly held on November 12.
The five-year term of the current Gujarat Assembly, which was constituted on February 19, 2018, will end on February 18, 2023.
Of the 182 seats in the Gujarat Assembly, 13 are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 27 for Scheduled Tribes.
The highest turnout of 73.02 per cent was recorded in Narmada district while the lowest was 53.84 per cent in Porbandar district.
According to Election Commission's data, approximate 72.32 per cent voters voted in Tapi district, Morbi (67.65 per cent), Navsari (66.62 per cent), Valsad (65.29 per cent), Dangs (64.84 per cent) and Bharuch (63.08 per cent).
In urban constituencies like Karanj, voting was just 49.53 per cent, Choryasi (54.40 per cent), Surat North (55.32 per cent), Udhana (55.69 per cent). In rural areas, the turnout in Mahuva of Bhavnagar district was 60.45 per cent, in Amreli's Rajula constituency it was 63.30 per cent, and Dhrangadhra of Surendranagar district it was 66.77 per cent.
Compared with previous elections' turnout, in the Mandvi seat of Kutch district voting percentage has dropped 19 per cent, in Surat's Mangrol seat it has fallen by 17 per cent.
People at certain places also boycotted voting. In Samot village of Narmada district, 1,000 voters were listed, but not a single voter turned up to vote. In Gir Somnath district's Pipalva village, out of a total of 1,700 voters, till 4 p.m., only 40 voters reached the polling booth to exercise their franchise.