Lok Sabha elections 2019: Low turnout in rural belt of Gujarat, BJP hopes for repeat of 2014 sweep
Political bigwigs, including PM Modi, BJP president Shah, party veteran LK Advani, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, Congress leader Ahmed Patel and Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, among others, exercised their franchise in the state.Updated: Apr 23, 2019 22:17 IST
All 26 seats in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat voted in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday, sealing the fates of high-profile candidates such as ruling Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, who is contesting from Gandhinagar.
The western state recorded a polling percentage of 63.67, according to data available till 9pm. In 2014, the figure stood at 63.66%. The turnout was second highest in the state’s polling history, which recorded the highest-ever figure of 63.77% in 1967.
Political bigwigs, including PM Modi, BJP president Shah, party veteran LK Advani, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, Congress leader Ahmed Patel and Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, among others, exercised their franchise in the state.
In south and north Gujarat’s rural and tribal belts, the turnout was impressive. The rural belt of Saurashtra saw a comparatively lower turnout — of around 55%.
The BJP won all Gujarat seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In the 2017 assembly polls, the Congress won 32 out of Saurashtra region’s 56 seats. But it failed to end the BJP rule. The region, which sends seven lawmakers to Parliament, is keenly watched in this summer’s general elections.
On Tuesday, barring a few incidents, the polling remained largely peaceful, officials said.
According to Gujarat’s additional chief electoral officer Ashok Manek, some electronic voting machines were replaced after they experienced technical problems during polling.
Bypolls to four assembly segments — Manavadar, Dhrangadhra, Unjha and Jamnagar rural — too were held on Tuesday.
First Published: Apr 23, 2019 22:17 IST