Gujarat Polls Live: 6.7% turnout till 9 am, Narendra Modi votes

10:41 AM, Monday, December 17th, 2012
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Gujarat PollsAhmedabad: Amidst tight security, voters in Gujarat on Monday began casting their ballots in the second and final phase of polling for the remaining 95 seats in the 182-member Assembly that will also decide the electoral fate of Chief Minister Narendra Modi who is seeking a third term.

Huge crowd had gathered outside the polling station in Ranip where Modi cast his vote. Clad in saffron kurta and surrounded by thousands of supporters, the charismatic Gujarat CM made a two-fingered ‘V-sign’ after coming out of the polling station.

“I want to thank the electorate and I am sure they will lead the BJP to a hat-trick win,” said Modi after voting. He further expected the voter turnout in the second phase to exceed than that in the first phase.

Also, 6.7 percent voter turnout is recorded till 9 am.

Former home minister of Gujarat Amit Shah, who is contesting from Naranpura in Ahmedabad, has voted.

In the meantime, Congress’ Shweta Bhatt, who is pitted against Narendra Modi from the Maninagar constituency, reached at polling station with her husband, the suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt.

Just before casting her vote, Shweta said: “I am fighting for truth.”

An estimated 19.8 million voters are eligible to take part in the nine-hour balloting. A huge turnout of over 70% was recorded in the first phase of the polls, which took place on Thursday in 87 constituencies. Both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress have interpreted the heavy polling in the first phase to claim they were poised to win the Gujarat battle for ballot.

The polling is taking place in 40 constituencies in five districts of central Gujarat, 32 in five districts of north Gujarat, 17 in Ahmedabad city area and in six in Kutch district. Counting of votes will take place on December 20.

In the second phase, 820 candidates are in the fray.

Voters will also decide the fate of political bigwigs like state ministers Anandi Patel, Saurabh Patel, Jaynarayan Vyas, Ramanlal Vora, Praful Patel, Pradipsinh Jadeja and Fakir Vaghela.

Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsi Prajapati alleged fake encounter case accused and former Minister of State for Home Amit Shah will also be awaiting his fate following Monday’s voting.

From Congress party, its senior-most leader and former chief minister Shankarsinh Vaghela, his son Mahendra Vaghela, former state Congress president Siddharth Patel, Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt are in the fray.

For Ellisbridge seat in Ahmedabad, which is going to the poll on Monday, Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) of Keshubhai Patel has given ticket to Jagruti Pandya, the wife of slain BJP leader and former Minister of State for Home Haren Pandya.

For this phase, the BJP has fielded candidates for all the 95 seats while Congress and GPP are contesting 92 and 84 seats respectively.

Apart from these three major parties, there are total of 32 political parties and 284 independents in the fray.

Voting will take place in 23,318 polling stations, for which Election commission has made elaborate security arrangements. “To ensure free and fair elections for the second phase, we have assigned duties to 7,256 micro-observers throughout the 12 districts where voting will take place on 95 seats,” Chief Electoral Officer Anita Karwal had said on Sunday.

The Election Commission said 23,318 electronic voting machines will be used in as many polling stations, with 10,126 of them dubbed “critical” — an official euphemism to mean they could witness disturbances or violence.

Abdasa is the largest Assembly constituency (area wise) with 6,278 sq km territory and Ghatlodia has the most number of voters (285,998).

The millions of votes cast in the Gujarat election — along with those of Himachal Pradesh — will be counted on December 20.

If the BJP wins, Modi — who soars over the party and who has been chief minister since 2001 — could start playing a larger national role both in the BJP and pan-India politics.

A defeat for the BJP could, however, puncture Modi’s larger political ambitions and prove a great morale booster for the Congress ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha election.


Simillar Posts

Leave a Reply