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Gujarat Polls 2012 live: 6% voter turnout in first hour

10:56 AM, Thursday, December 13th, 2012
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Gujarat Polls Ahemdabad: Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s arch rival and Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) chief Keshubhai Patel on Thursday cast his vote as polling in 87 constituencies for the first phase of Assembly Elections began amidst tight security in Gujarat.

The polling, which began at 8.am, is taking place in 48 Assembly constituencies covering in seven districts of Saurashtra, on 35 seats in five districts of southern Gujarat and on four in Ahmedabad district.

The voting turnout in the first two hour of polling was recorded at 6% due to cold weather.

State Congress president Arjun Modhwadia (Porbandar) was among the top senior leaders, who cast their votes as the voting began this morning.

Out of total 1,81,77,953 voters, there are 95,75,278 male, 86,02,557 female and 118 other voters.

For this phase, BJP has fielded candidates on all 87 seats going to the poll, whereas Congress is contesting on 84 and GPP on 83.

48 seats in Surendranagar, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Amreli and Bhavnagar are considered very crucial and decisive as political observers are watching keenly on how former Chief Minister and ‘bete noir’ of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Keshubhai Patel factor plays out in the region.

Voters will also decide the fate of many state political big-wigs who are contesting elections like Keshubhai Patel, Assembly Speaker Ganpat Vasava, Gujarat BJP president RC Faldu, state Congress president Arjun Modhwadia and Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil.

State ministers like Vajubhai Vala, Vasuben Trivedi, Narottam Patel, Mangubhai Patel, Purshottam Solanki, Kiritsinh Rana, Dilip Sanghani, Kanubhai Bhalala, Mohan Kundaria and Ranjit Gilitvala will also be awaiting their fate following today’s voting.

Apart from these three major parties, there are total 26 political parties and 383 independents in the fray, which include BJP rebel and sitting MLA Kanubhai Kalsaria, who has formed a new forum – Sadbhavna Manch – and fielded six candidates.

Today’s voting will also decide if Leuva Patel, a politically powerful sub-community of Patidars will be swayed by the appeals and behind the curtain efforts to vote against the Modi Government, on the plank of alleged injustice meted out to their leader Keshubhai Patel.

1,81,77,953 voters will likely to decide the fate of 846 candidates in the first phase.

Among the 846 candidates, 46 female candidates too are in the fray and in the first phase of elections there are 9 such Assembly constituencies where more than one woman candidate is contesting this time.

Forty sitting MLAs from BJP and 16 from Congress are also contesting to retain representation in the State Assembly.

This phase will also see important contests on Visavadar where Keshubhai Patel is pitted against BJP’s Kanu Bhalala. In Kutiyana, son of ‘God Mother’ Santokhben Jadeja and NCP candidate Kandhal is contesting against Karsan Dula Odedara.

In another interesting contest, Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil is facing Fisheries Minister Purushottam Solanki.

Fate of three Congress MPs, Vithhal Radadia (Dhoraji), Kunvarji Bavalia (Botad) and Somabhai Patel (Limbadi), will be sealed on Thursday as they are also contesting this Assembly election.

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