Gujarat Elections: Phase 2 polling in 93 seats to decide fate of 833 candidates today; PM, Shah to vote in Ahmedabad

Reported By:DNA Web Team| Edited By: DNA Web Team |Source: DNA Web Desk |Updated: Dec 05, 2022, 12:18 AM IST

Gujarat Elections: Phase 2 polling in 93 seats to decide fate of 833 candidates on December 5

Voting will held on Monday in 93 Assembly seats across 14 central and northern districts of Gujarat during the second phase of the state polls. While the state has traditionally witnessed a  bipolar contest between the BJP and the Congress, the entry of AAP has turned it into a three-cornered battle.  In the 2017 Assembly polls, the BJP had won 51 of these 93 seats while the Congress bagged 39 seats. The remaining three seats went to Independent candidates. 

In central Gujarat, the BJP had bagged 37 seats, outnumbering the Congress which got 22. But in north Gujarat, the Congress had won 17 seats while the saffron party got 14.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will cast his vote at a polling station set up at a high school in Ranip locality in Ahmedabad city. Union Home Minister and BJP MP Amit Shah will cast his vote at a municipal sub-zonal office in Naranpura locality of the city. 

The first phase of voting for 89 seats in Saurashtra, Kutch and south Gujarat regions was held on December 1, when an average voter turnout of 63.31 per cent was recorded. After a relatively lower voter turnout than 2017, the Election Commission urged voters to come out in large numbers to vote in the second phase on December 5 and compensate for the earlier phase.

“Urban apathy continues unabated from Shimla to Surat. ECI appeals to voters of Gujarat to come out in large numbers during second phase to compensate for low voting in 1st phase,” the ECI said in a statement.

“While voting percentage increased in many constituencies, the average voter turnout figure is dampened by urban apathy of these important districts just as during recently concluded general election to the legislative assembly of Himachal Pradesh, urban Assembly Constituency of Shimla recorded the lowest at 62.53 per cent (less by 13 percentage points) as against the state average of 75.6 per cent,” it said.

In the second phase, voting will be held in the remaining 93 seats, for which 833 candidates are in the fray from 61 political parties, including the BJP, Congress and the new poll entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The nominees also include 285 independents, as per the state election body.

The BJP and the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP are contesting in all the 93 seats. The Congress is contesting in 90 seats and its alliance partner Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has fielded candidates in two seats. Among other parties, the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) has fielded 12 candidates and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) 44.

The 93 Assembly segments which will go to polls on Monday are spread across Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Gandhinagar and other districts.

Some of the important constituencies in the second phase include Ghatlodia (in Ahmedabad district) of Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Viramgam seat (also in Ahmedabad) from where Patidar leader Hardik Patel is fighting on the BJP’s ticket and Gandhinagar South from where Alpesh Thakor is fighting as the saffron party candidate.

Besides, Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani is contesting as the Congress candidate from Vadgam seat in Banaskantha district, and Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly Sukhram Rathva is the nominee from Jetpur in Chhota Udepur district.

BJP rebel Madhu Shrivastav is contesting as an independent candidate from Vaghodia seat in Vadodara district.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted a whirlwind campaign for the BJP candidates on December 1 and 2, including two back-to-back road shows in Ahmedabad.

During the last leg of the campaign, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held rallies in Dholka, Mahudha and Khambhat towns, while Union minister Smriti Irani held roadshows in Modasa and Siddhpur towns of north Gujarat.

AAP leader and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann also held road shows for the second phase of elections.

A total 2.51 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise for the second phase of elections, including 1.29 crore men and 1.22 crore women. There are 5.96 lakh voters in the age group of 18 to 19 years, according to the Election Commission. The poll body has set up 14,975 polling stations for which 1.13 lakh election staffers have been deployed.

(With PTI inputs)

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