The first phase of Gujarat polls registered a record turnout of 67% on Thursday, when 87 assembly segments of Saurashtra, south Gujarat and Ahmedabad rural went to polls.
An unusually high turnout was registered in tribal seats in Navsari, Tapi and Narmada districts of south Gujarat, and even in rural areas of Saurashtra, where the contest was triangular due to the Keshubhai Patel factor, people came out to vote in droves.
The same day, Gujarat Parivartan Party president Patel was issued a notice by election authorities for violation of model code of conduct.
As pundits speculated over the likely outcome and the EC watched with a hawk eye, opposition parties continued its onslaught of high-voltage campaign on ruling BJP. On Thursday, AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi addressed three political rallies. He will hold a final rally in Kutch on December 15.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, who has so far addressed three rallies, will address a rally in Kalol near Gandhinagar on Friday.
The high-profile campaign launched by the party has had its impact on CM Narendra Modi. “For the first time, he has become reactive. Otherwise, he sets an agenda,” a BJP poll manager said.