Polling begins for 89 seats in first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections
Ahmedabad, December 1, 2022
Polling began on Thursday morning amidst tight security in the first phase of polling for 89 of the 182 seats in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly.
Voting began at 8 am and will continue until 5 pm. Long queues of voters were seen at many polling stations in both rural and urban areas.
There are as many as 788 candidates, including 70 women, in the fray for the 89 seats spread across 19 districts. The constituencies where polling is being held today include 54 in Saurashtra and Kutch and 35 in South Gujarat.
Most of the seats are seeing a triangular contest between the ruling BJP, Congress and AAP candidates.
More than 2.39 crore voters, including 1.15 crore women, are eligible to vote in the constituencies that are voting today.
The Election Commission has 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 has deployed nearly 1.07 lakh election staff, including 27,978 presiding officers.
Prominent candidates involved in today's polling include 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 -- are in the fray as is 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.