Gujarat Assembly elections: Ruling BJP headed for landslide win with leads in 156 of 182 seats
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 a landslide win as it surged ahead in 156 of the 182 seats as counting of votes in the elections to the state legislative assembly progressed on Thursday.
The Opposition Congress, struggling to remain relevant in the state after nearly three decades in the wilderness, was leading in 18 constituencies while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), trying to establish a foothold, was ahead in five. Independent candidates were ahead in two seats and a Samajwadi Party nominee.
Results for 15 seats have been declared so far, of which the BJP won 13 and the Congress 2. Besides, the BJP was leading in another 143 and the Congress in 16.
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 the electronic voting machines (EVMs) were taken up half an hour later.
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.