Gujarat polls: Final round today, biggies in fray

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
  • |
  • Updated: Dec 17, 2012 07:59 IST

Following a massive turnout of over 70% in the first phase of the assembly for 182 seats in Gujarat, voting will be held for 95 seats spread over 12 districts in the second and last phase on Monday and counting on December 20.

Along with the BJP and Congress, 33 smaller parties are in the fray this time.

Around 19.8 million voters will decide the fate of 820 candidates, including CM Narendra Modi, who is contesting from Maninagar in Ahmedabad city.

The five districts of North Gujarat where polling will be held on Monday - Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Mehsana, Patan and Gandhinagar - are bastions of the saffron party while central Gujarat districts Godhara, Dahod, Kheda and Anand are Congress strongholds.

Vadodara city is a BJP bastion while the Congress holds the tribal-dominated seats in the district.

In the 2007 polls, the BJP swept North Gujarat, bagging 25 of the 32 seats but the party is unlikely to repeat the stellar performance this time. Expecting some losses there, the BJP has focused on Central Gujarat where the Congress performed impressively in 2007.

In the last phase, round, voting will take place in 17 seats in Ahmedabad city, 32 in North Gujarat, 40 in Central Gujarat and 6 in Kutch district.

"We have made elaborate arrangements for peaceful conduct of the polls. In the first phase, no major untoward incident was recorded," chief electoral officer Anita Karwal said, adding that more than 7,000 micro observers have been assigned to oversee the polling.

"The people of Gujarat will give a strong mandate to the Congress because they are fed up with the ruling party and Narendra Modi, who has made the government an event management company," Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela said.

Similarly, the BJP also displayed confidence, saying that the people of the state would continue their development journey initiated by the Modi government.


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