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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Campaign Trail

At 71.3%, voter turnout breaks Gujarat record
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Ahmedabad, December 18, 2012
First Published: 23:34 IST(18/12/2012)
Last Updated: 02:46 IST(19/12/2012)

The turnout in the final phase of the Gujarat polls topped the figure of the first phase, with 71.85% voters exercising their franchise. The voting for 95 seats was held on Monday.

The first phase — in which polling for 87 seats had been held on December 13 — registered 70.75% turnout.

“The turnout in the 2012 polls — 71.3% — is the highest-ever registered in the state,” said chief electoral officer (CEO) Anita Karwal. “Among the many factors responsible was the voters’ slip distributed by the election authorities and the awareness campaign undertaken by the EC and voluntary organisations. It brought the people to the booths.”

In the second phase — in which voting was held for  Ahmedabad, north and central Gujarat and Kutch district — 73.55% turnout was registered among male voters and 70.01% among female voters.

In 2007, Gujarat had registered 59.77% voting. The over-10% rise has created panic among politicians, even though exit polls have predicted a landslide victory for the BJP.

Barring CM Narendra Modi, who had contested from Maninagar, the prominent candidates in the second phase include Gujarat Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela and over a dozen ministers of the Modi cabinet who were in the fray from their respective seats.

Around a dozen tribal reserved seats in Sabarkantha, Panchmahal, Godhara and Vadodara seats were among the 95 seats for which polling was held.

During campaigning, Modi had focused on central Gujarat in a bid to offset likely losses in Saurashtra, where Keshubhai Patel's new party is expected to do the BJP some damage.


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