Gujarat elections Highlights: EC says 68% turnout in first phase, PM Modi thanks people for voting in record numbers | assembly elections | Gujarat 2017 | Hindustan Times
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Gujarat elections Highlights: EC says 68% turnout in first phase, PM Modi thanks people for voting in record numbers

The first phase of assembly election in Gujarat took place on Saturday. A total of 89 out of 182 seats went to polls. Here are the updates.

assembly elections Updated: Dec 09, 2017 23:32 IST
Polling officials bring back EVM to a strong room at the end of first phase of Gujarat Assembly Election in Surat on December 9.
Polling officials bring back EVM to a strong room at the end of first phase of Gujarat Assembly Election in Surat on December 9.(PTI Photo)

Gujarat voted in the first phase of assembly elections on Saturday, with Election Commission saying the state recorded a voter turnout of 68 per cent.

In this phase, Kutch, Saurashtra and South Gujarat went to polls for 89 of the 182 seats. The next round of voting will be held on December 14 and results will be declared on December 18.

The Congress hopes to pose a challenge to the BJP in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, where the saffron party has been in power for 22 years.

During Saturday’s voting, EVM glitches were reported from several booths, prompting the Congress to allege that the machines were getting connected to mobile phone via bluetooth. But officials junked the allegation.

Here are the updates:

8:50 pm:

8:07 pm: Arun Jaitley termed the Congress party’s Gujarat poll manifesto as ‘constitutionally and financially impossible’ and said the promises like quota to Patidar and farm loan waiver can never be fulfilled.

“Having no model of development, the Congress party’s manifesto is one of fiscal impossibility. The total revenue earned by the state is about Rs 90,000 crore per annum. The Congress promises a tax waiver of Rs 20,000 crore,” he said.

7: 32 pm: When our govt comes to power, it will provide you free of cost medical facility in govt hospitals and free medicines in govt pharmacies: Rahul Gandhi in Mehsana.

7:02 pm:

6:45 pm: 68% voter turnout recorded in the first phase of Gujarat Election 2017: Election Commission of India.

EC says the figure is likely to cross 70 per cent.

6:58 pm: Arun Jaitley said the BJP was satisfied with the manner in which the first phase of polling in the Gujarat assembly elections went, and claimed his party was headed towards a landslide victory.

“We express more than satisfaction over the manner in which the election has been conducted today.

6: 20 pm: These are just baseless statements. When statements of these kind are given, I can’t help but say that these are preparation of upcoming defeat: Arun Jaitley on Congress’ Arjun Modhwadia complaints of EVMs connecting to mobile phones via bluetooth in Porbandar.

6:10 pm: Over 70 per cent voting was registered in Gujarat at close of polling at 5 pm in the first phase, though there were still long queues lined up to vote at most polling stations: Gujarat chief electoral officer, B B Swain said, reports IANS.

5:50 pm:

5:30 pm: A well educated Congress leader called me ‘Neech’. This is the mindset of Congress. They have their language and we have our work. People will answer them through the ballot box : PM Modi

5:28pm: Like a magician tries to distract, PM Modi has also been trying to distracts people’s attention. Congress tried to bring it back and yesterday PM Modi finally gave up. Truth surrounded PM Modi: Rahul Gandhi at a public meeting in Vadnagar, Gujarat.

The prime minister in his speeches has only talked about himself. But this election is not about Modi ji or me; it is about Gujarat’s future,” he said.

5:14 pm: Chief Electoral Officer for Gujarat B B Swain said that though voting would end at 5 pm, those standing in queues outside polling booths before the process ends, would be given a chance to cast their votes.

The highest turnout of 57.26 per cent was recorded in the tribal-dominated Tapi district, while Porbandar district in Saurashtra region recorded the lowest turnout of 40.06 per cent so far.

5:06 pm: The MUDRA Yojana has empowered people from Dalit communities. This is an effort towards making India a nation of job creators, not job seekers, says Modi.

4:59 pm: Without development there is no solution to the problems India faces: PM Modi at a rally in Mehsana.

4:29 pm: Governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala casts his vote in Rajkot.

4:28 pm: During the first phase of voting 1.90% of VVPATs replaced out of 24,689 units deployed. 0.37% out of the 26,865 Ballot Units and 0.38% out of the 24,689 Control Unites replaced too, reports ANI.

4:24 pm:

4:10 pm:

3:40 pm: No EVMs were connecting to mobile phone via bluetooth, as complained by Congress, in phase I of Gujarat Election: CEO B Swain

Excellent trend in voting has been seen so far in phase I, says Swain.

3:19 pm:

3:15 pm: Congress party is synonymous with corruption. Their corrupt practices will never be accepted in Gujarat: PM Narendra Modi.

2:55 pm: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah asked the Election Commission to address the queries being raised on the trustworthiness of the electronic voting machines (EVMs).

“I’ve been extremely sceptical of EVM related conspiracy theories but I’m beginning to question my unwavering faith in the machines & their infallibility,” Abdullah wrote in a Twitter.

2:42pm: An Election Commission team reaches polling booth in Thakkar Plot, Porbandar, to investigate complaints of EVMs connecting to mobile phones via bluetooth.

2:30pm: Rahul Gandhi also repeats his attack on Modi over the Goods and Services tax (GST). “Like Gabbar Singh’s five weapons, the GST has provisions for five different taxes.”

2:29pm: Modiji’s government launched Make In India and Start Up India but could not do in one year what the Chinese can do in two days: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi

2:25pm: At campaign rally in Patan, Rahul Gandhi attacks PM Narendra Modi over Amit Shah’s son. “Modiji didn’t talk about corruption in his speeches because the company owned by Amit Shah’s son has a turnover of Rs 80 crore in three months from Rs 50,000.”

2:21pm: This election is not about (Narendra) Modiji but about the future of Gujarat people, says Rahul Gandhi.

2:16pm: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi campaigns in Patan’s Harij ahead of Gujarat’s second phase of assembly polling. “They (BJP) have everything – central government, UP government, Maharashtra government. The Congress party has nothing but the truth of Gujarat.”

2pm: Union minister Jitendra Singh dismisses Congress party’s complaint about EVMs. “Congress has made it a practice to say EVM malfunctioned every time when they face defeat. Therefore, they are preparing ground before December 18 to blame their defeat on EVM,” ANI quotes Singh as saying.

1:55pm: Bhavnagar district collector, Harshad Patel, says polling has so far gone ahead peacefully. “There is no issue. At few places where machines had problems (have) been resolved; machines have been replaced wherever required,” ANI quotes him as saying.

1:45pm: Voter turnout percentage at noon is 30.31%.

1:30pm: Another bride turns up at a polling booth to vote amid her wedding festivities.

12:50pm: Union minister Arun Jaitley predicts “landslide” victory for BJP. “Congress’s campaign tactics have failed,” ANI quotes him as saying.

12:40pm: Election Commission orders probe into Congress claim that some EVMs were connecting to mobile phones via bluetooth.

12:30pm: Congress reacts to Modi’s comments about the attack on him. “Salman Nizami kaun hai hum jaante hi nahi (Don’t know who Salman Nizami is). He does not hold any position in the party. We can also say that there is some random person Ram Lal in BJP who said something,” says Congress MP Rajiv Shukla, according to ANI.

12:10pm: State information bureau says a 115-year-old woman has voted at Upleta.

12:03pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is campaigning in Lunavada, says, “In every part of the nation, the Congress has misled the Muslim community. They have made fake promises of reservations for Muslims but in no state have they fulfilled their promise.”

12:01pm: Election Commission confirms average voter turnout percentage till 10 am is 13.38%. Nine third gender votes registered till the time.

Noon: I want to tell all Congress leaders who are abusing me, mocking my poor family, asking who my parents are – this nation is my everything. Every moment of my time is devoted to India and 125 crore Indians: Modi hits back at Nizami.

11:45am: “There is a youth Congress leader Salman Nizami, he is even campaigning for Congress in Gujarat. He wrote on Twitter about Rahul Ji’s father, grandmother. That is ok but he asks - Modi tell me who is your Mother, who is your father. Such language can’t even be used for enemies,” Modi says.

11:41am: “The BJP is asking for votes in these elections on our development agenda. Sadly, the Congress is asking for votes in the name of caste politics, divisive tactics,” PM Modi says.

11:35am: PM Modi campaigns for BJP in Lunavada which goes to vote in second phase of polling. Says Gujarat will reject the Congress and punish it for their politics as it happened in Uttar Pradesh.

11:25am: A group of Patidars protest as BJP’s Reshma Patel arrives to cast her vote in Junagadh.

11am: Election Commission official Vipul Goti says two EVMs and one VVPAT machine have been replaced. “You cannot really call it a technical error; these are electronic items, there can be some issues. Now everything is okay and voting has started,” says Goti, who is the master trainer in Surat’s Varaccha, according to ANI.

10:33am: Around 15% polling has been registered in the first two hours of polling (10am).

10:30am: Election Commission officials replace faulty EVM at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya booth in Surat’s Varaccha.

10:25am: Congress’ Arjun Modhwadia casts his vote in Porbandar. He is in contest with BJP incumbent Babu Bokhiria.

Quick fact: The largest constituency to go to vote in this phase is the Abdasa assembly seat in Kutch district, which is spread over 6,278 sq km. The smallest is the Karanj assembly seat in Surat district with only around 4 sq km.

10:15am: Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel casts his vote in Bharuch’s Ankleshwar. “Congress will win more than 110 seats,” ANI quotes him as saying.

10am: Cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara casts his vote in Rajkot’s Ravi Vidayalaya booth.

9:56am: A couple arrive at a polling booth in Bharuch to cast their vote before heading for their wedding ceremony. (Read story)

8:50am: A technical snag in EVM delays voting in Jetpur’s Jamkandorna. Minister Jayesh Radadiya and other voters wait.

8:47am: CM Vijay Rupani casts his vote from his Rajkot West seat. He is in contest with Congress’ Indranil Rajyaguru.

8:40am: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi tweets out an appeal to people to vote, and congratulates first-time voters. He says voting is the “soul of democracy”.

8:35am: Voting underway in Surat for the Choryasi assembly seat. BJP’s Jhankhnaben Patel is up against Congress’ Yogeshbhai B Patel for this seat.

8:24am: BJP’s Gujarat chief Jitubhai Vaghani casts his vote in Bhavnagar.

8:14am: People line up in Surat, Bharuch’s Ankleshwar and Rajkot to cast their votes.

8:03am: Chief minister Vijay Rupani calls on people to come out and vote, and also expresses confidence in a BJP win. “No question of any challenge,” ANI quotes Rupani as saying.

8am: Polling begins.

Quick fact: 27,158 EVMs are being used in 24,689 polling stations for the first phase.

7:30am: Security personnel take stock outside polling stations as Election Commission officials set up for the day.

6:15am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges people to come out and vote in his home state ahead of the start of the first phase of polling for the assembly election.