Barring sporadic incidents, gram panchayat elections in 1,557 villages in Gujarat passed off peacefully on Saturday with a turn-out of more than 70 per cent.
“The election started at 8:30 in the morning and concluded at 5 pm peacefully. As per the latest data available with us, till 4 pm, voter turn-out was 70 per cent,” state election commissioner Varesh Sinha told reporters.
Final figure was expected to be more than 70 per cent, poll officials said.
Polling was suspended at a village in Visavadar tehsil of Junagadh district due to the death of a candidate for sarpanch’s post, Balajibhai Lingariya.
Violence was reported at Borisana in Kadi tehsil of Mehsana district when some people allegedly tried to stop a man from escorting his mother to the polling station.
Two groups clashed, leaving four persons injured, a Kadi police station official said, adding that both sides filed FIRs against each other, but no arrests had been made yet.
At polling stations in Rasulabad and Puniyad in Vadodara district and Dedol in Panchmahals district the polling was briefly suspended due to glitches in EVMs.
Polling in 83 village panchayats in Dahod district, where some booths were considered `sensitive’, took place without any incident.
Elections were held across 1,557 village panchayats for 1,484 posts of Sarpanch. In 73 places, Sarpanch candidates were elected unopposed.
Counting will be held on April 11.
Elections of some 10,300 gram panchayats were held in last December.
As per the Panchayats Department, there are a total of 14,017 gram panchayats in Gujarat, while the total number of villages is 18,584.
Panchayat polls are not fought on party symbols. Each voter casts two votes, one to elect Sarpanch and another to elect Panchayat members.