Gujarat polls: 63.14% voter turnout in first phase, campaign for phase 2 begins
A total of 39 political parties are contesting in the elections with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and Congress being the top three contenders
As the voting in the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections concluded, the overall voter turnout was recorded at 63.14 per cent until 5pm on Thursday, the election commission said.
The polling for the first phase was held on 89 seats across 19 districts in Saurashtra-Kutch and southern parts of the state.
In 2017, the voter turnout in the first phase covering the same 89 constituencies stood at 66.75 per cent.
According to the election commission, Narmada district recorded the highest voter turnout at 78.24% while, Tapi, a tribal-dominated area, recorded the second-highest polling at 76.91%. Botad in Saurashtra region recorded the lowest turnout at 57.58%.
Apart from Narmada and Tapi, Navsari recorded a 71.06% voter turnout.
“Barring a few incidents, the polling was largely peaceful,” said P Bharti, chief electoral officer (CEO), Gujarat.
“At some places, voting was halted briefly due to malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPATs) but the faulty units were replaced and the process resumed very quickly,” said the electoral officer.
As many as 89 seats across nineteen districts went to polls in the first phase. The state has a total of 182 assembly segments.
A total of 39 political parties are contesting in the elections with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and Congress being the top three contenders.
Notably, political parties on Friday will continue their campaigns for the second phase of the elections scheduled to take place on December 5 on 93 seats.
For BJP, PM Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah will campaign in Gujarat for the second phase. For AAP, its chief ministerial candidate Isudan Gadhvi, and leader Gopal Italia will campaign. For the Congress, MP Shaktisinh Gohil is expected to conduct rallies in Thasra and Matar assembly constituencies.
The 39 parties have fielded 788 candidates including 718 male candidates and 70 women candidates.
The second and final round is scheduled for December 5, followed by the counting of votes on December 8.