Gujarat election 2017: 68 percent voting in phase-1 of Gujarat polls: EC

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oldest voter gujarat

New Delhi, 9th December: Sixty eight percent polling was recorded in the first phase of Gujarat polls, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Unmesh Sinha said today.

Eightynine seats out of the total of 182 Assembly constituencies went to polls in the first phase with prominent candidates like Chief Minister Vijay Rupani (Rajkot West), Congress’ Shaktisinh Gohil (Mandvi) and Paresh Dhanani (Amreli) in the fray.

The Election Commission also received complaints of EVMs being connected to Bluetooth or WiFi from Porbandar.

The election is being viewed as a prestige battle for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a litmus test for the leadership of soon-to-be Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

Complaints against EVMs increased in various regions across the 89 constituencies for which polling is being carried out in the first phase.

The voting percentage was 32 in Amreli, Bhavnagar-33, Kutch-29, Morbi-33, Rajkot-35, Jamnagar-32, Dwarka-27, Porbandar-28 and Gir Somnath- 30 till afternoon.

Senior Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia complained that the media coverage of him voting was stopped by the SSB jawans when he went to cast his vote in Modhwada village in Porbandar district. He has raised question that when other leaders were being covered by media when casting their votes, why not him?

Reshma Patel, former Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convenor who later joined the BJP, was opposed by many PAAS supporters when she went to cast her vote in Jhanjharda village in Junagadh district.

A complaint has been registered with the Election Commission of India (ECI) against BJP candidate Babubhai Bokhiria from Porbandar for sloganeering near a polling booth.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate from Kutiyana constituency issued a statement that since he was busy with campaigning, if he finds the time then only will he exercise his voting right.

In Kamrej constituency of Surat region, there were complaints of seven to eight EVMs malfunctioning since morning. People were seen complaining as they were not able to cast their votes despite standing in queues since morning.

There were complaints of many EVMs malfunctioning in Mandvi constituency of Kutch. “Why is it that EVMs in polling booths especially dominated by Dalit communities are malfunctioning. And if they are not working those should be replaced immediately. One machine here was replaced after one and a half hours, some time later that too went bad,” said Shaktisinh Gohil, who is contesting from Mandvi.

“I suspect a conspiracy against the Dalit voters by the BJP, who have never supported the Dalit community. But we are confident that despite this, Congress will snatch all the six constituencies this time,” Gohil added.

“We are inquiring into complaints of EVMs being connected to Bluetooth or WiFi made from Porbandar,” said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Gujarat, B.B. Swain.

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

In the first phase of  Gujarat election 2017, 10% voting has been registered by Election commission till 10 am.

CM Vijay Rupani casts his vote in Rajkot. He is contesting against Congress’s Indranil Rajaguru from Rajkot-West seat. This seat has become a matter of respect for both the contenders. As Congress’s Indranil was winner in last assembly elections from Rajkot East but this time the leader has challenged the Chief minister Vijay Rupani from a seat which is considered as a bastion of BJP.

Senior Congress leader and Rajyasabha member Ahmed Patel casts his vote and urged all the Gujarati’s to participate in the Democratic festival.

A couple reached polling booth in Bharuch’s Bahumali building to cast their votes before their wedding ceremony.

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

Faulty EVM in Sardar Patel Vidyalaya booth in Surat’s Varaccha has been replaced. Earlier 70 voting EVMs were declared as malfunctions.

The 89 constituencies that vote today are in 19 districts. The ruling BJP holds 67 of these seats and the Congress 16, while the others are held by smaller parties and Independents. Saurashtra and Kutch have the maximum number of constituencies that vote in the first phase and are seen as crucial. The party that wins the most seats in these regions will be seen to have a head start.

The region has huge population of the influential Patels or Patidars, who have been demanding that they be included among castes that get benefits of affirmative action.

The first of Gujarat’s two-phase assembly polls began on Saturday across 89 constituencies spread out in the 19 districts of Kutch, Saurashtra and southern regions.

A total of 977 candidates are in the fray from Kutch, Morbi, Jamnagar, Surendranagar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Rajkot, Botad, Porbandar, Junagadh, Amreli, Gir Somnath, Bhavnagar, Bharuch, Narmada, Surat, Tapi, Navsari, Dang and Valsad districts.

The second phase of polling in 93 seats will be held on December 14 while the counting of votes is scheduled on December 18.

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