A low turnout marked the first phase of voting in the Gujarat Assembly elections, with the 89 seats in Saurashtra and south Gujarat which went to the polls on Thursday registering a turnout of 60.2%. In the 2017 elections, more than 65% turnout was registered in these districts.
“The polling has concluded peacefully in the first phase of Assembly elections today,” said Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer P. Bharathi
According to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), voting halted in a few places due to the malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines as well as control units and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs). The faulty units were replaced and the process resumed.
In Saurashtra districts such as Rajkot, Jamnagar, Junagadh and Bhavnagar, the turnout remained low compared to the last Assembly polls. Tapi district in South Gujarat recorded the highest voting turnout of 72.32%. The tribal-dominated district comprises the two Assembly constituencies of Vyara and Nizar. With 68.09% turnout, Narmada district stood second.
Voting commenced at 8 a.m. antinued till 5 p.m. across 14,382 polling stations. As many as 788 candidates are in the fray in the first phase of the polls, of which 339 are independent candidates and 70 are women, including nine fielded by the BJP, six by the Congress, and five by the AAP.
Of the total 182 assembly seats in Gujarat, voting was held in 89 seats across 19 districts of Saurashtra-Kutch and southern regions in the first phase. Voting for the remaining 93 seats will be held on December 5. The results will be announced on December 8.
In the first phase, the total electorate includes 1.24 crore men and 1.15 crore women.