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EC data shows 84 lakh fewer people voted in 2017 Gujarat elections than in 2012

While 3.8 crore people voted in 2012, their numbers slipped down to 2.96 crore this time.

india Updated: Dec 17, 2017 23:48 IST
Hiral Dave
Hiral Dave
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Gujarat elections,Gujarat election results,Election Commission
An election official arranging the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) at a distribution centre before moving to their respective polling stations ahead of the second phase of polling, in Ahmedabad on December 13.(PTI Photo)

The number of people who voted in the recently-concluded Gujarat elections dropped by almost 84 lakh in comparison to those who exercised their franchise in the 2012 polls, the Election Commission data showed.

The final voter turnout in this year’s state elections was 68.41%, about three percentage points less than the 71.34% registered in the last assembly polls.

Although the dip may appear to be marginal in percentage terms, it reveals that while 3.8 crore people voted in 2012, their numbers slipped down to 2.96 crore this time.

“The trend indicates lack of enthusiasm among the rural voters compared to 2012. But we should also not forget that 2012 saw higher turnout as it was pitched as the last elections of Narendra Modi before he makes a leap to Delhi,” said political analyst Jwalant Chhaya.

The region-wise analysis showed the turnout was higher in the north and central parts of the state than in the western coastal region that includes Saurashtra, which traditionally had been a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stronghold.

North and central Gujarat, which have a large number of urban centres, recorded a better voter turnout than southern Gujarat.

Experts said the voter turnout was generally lower in the rural constituencies dominated by Patidars, who have traditionally been BJP supporters. They constitute about 12% of the state’s population and can influence outcome in 60 of the 182 seats.

The Patidar-dominated Amreli district recorded the lowest turnout of 61.29% whereas the tribal district of Narmada saw the highest voter turnout
of 79.15%.

The EC data showed higher voter turnout in the constituencies that have a sizeable other backward classes (OBCs) and tribal population.

A total 1,828 candidates contested the polls for 182 seats across Gujarat’s 33 districts. The BJP had fielded its candidates on all 182 seats while the Congress had named 176 nominees. The grand old party had gone into the elections with a sharing arrangement over five seats with the Bhartiya Tribal Party and it had not fielded any candidate against independent candidate Jignesh Mevani in Vadgam.

First Published: Dec 17, 2017 23:31 IST