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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Live: Gujarat votes in 26 seats, records 15% voting till 10am

Mahesh Langa, Hindustan Times  Ahmedabad, April 29, 2014
First Published: 15:26 IST(29/4/2014) | Last Updated: 11:03 IST(30/4/2014)

About 15% polling was recorded in the first three hours in the 26 parliamentary seats in Gujarat, according to EC data.

After casting his vote in Ranip in Gandhinagar constituencey, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, flashed his inked finger and said, "I can say with confidence that the mother-son government has gone."

Modi tweeted while on the way to cast his vote, urging the voters in the remaining states to vote.

"On my way to vote. I consider myself extremely blessed & fortunate to be a voter in Advani ji's Parliamentary Constituency. Urging all those voting in 89 Lok Sabha seats across India to vote in record numbers today! Hope my young friends show the way in doing so."

On the last day of campaigning, chief minister Modi addressed five rallies in the state, while Congress fielded Union minister Kapil Sibal, who slammed Modi in his media address.

A total of 413 candidates are in the fray and 4.05 crore voters will exercise their franchise at 45,380 voting booths spread across the state. Election commission data show 2.12 crore male, 1.93 crore women and 285 transgender voters have been registered in poll lists.

"All arrangements have been made to ensure smooth voting on April 30. Officials will focus on 23% of the voting booths identified as sensitive," chief electoral officer Anita Karwal said.

Among the prominent candidates are BJP's prime minister nominee Narendra Modi, who is contesting from Vadodara, BJP veteran LK Advani from Gandhinagar and three Union ministers— Bharat Solanki from Anand, Dinsha Patel from Kheda and Tushar Chaudhary from Bardoli. Gujarat's leader of the opposition Shankersinh Vaghela is contesting the polls from Sabarkantha in north Gujarat.

The saffron party has 17 members from Gujarat in the outgoing Parliament while the Congress has nine.

The BJP's main campaign has been around Modi, who is heading the party as its prime ministerial candidate, while the Congress party has kept its campaign low key with special focus on its strongholds in north and central Gujarat and Saurashtra.

"The people of Gujarat will vote for the BJP because a Gujarati will become the prime minister of India after the polls," claimed BJP general secretary Vijay Rupani.

Modi has address over a dozen rallies in the state in contrast to Congress president Sonia Gandhi's two rallies and vice-president Rahul Gandhi's four.

Sonia's political secretary and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel has also been camping in Gujarat, holding campaign rallies in Bharuch, Kutch, north Gujarat and Saurashtra.

The 2014 Lok Sabha polls in the state will also mark the decline of the powerful Patel community, as both BJP and Congress have fielded three Koli community candidates each from Saurashtra, which sends eight members to Parliament.

"This is for the first time that seven Koli candidates are contesting Lok Sabha polls from the BJP and the Congress, which means an increased political awareness among the Koli community that outnumbers Patels," a senior BJP leader said.

BJP and Congress candidates from Bhavnagar, Surendranagar and Junagadh seats are Kolis, while the Congress' sitting MP Kuvarji Bavalia from Rajkot is another Koli candidate from Saurashtra.

Interestingly, as many as 14 MLAs are contesting the parliamentary polls on BJP, Congress and NCP tickets. The NCP is contesting the lone Porbandar Lok Sabha seat in alliance with the Congress.

Full coverage: My India my vote

Here's a map for the constituencies going to polls on Wednesday. On searching, you will get details of all parties fighting from a constituency and key candidates there:


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