Gujarat started voting on December 1, 2022, in the first phase of the Assembly polls in 89 Assembly constituencies, spread across 19 districts in Saurashtra-Kutch and the southern parts of the State, with 788 candidates in the fray.
Out of the 4.91 crore registered voters in Gujarat, 2.4 crore are eligible to cast their votes in the first phase of the elections. These include 5.74 lakh voters in the age group of 18-19 years, and 4,945 above the age of 99 years, the office of the State CEO said.
Amid allegations and counter-allegations, a long-drawn campaign by the ruling BJP, the Congress, and the Aam Aadmi Party, the newest entrant in the political arena in the State, ended in what appears to be a dull election season compared with 2017, when the election was held in the backdrop of two massive agitations by the Patidars and OBCs, respectively, across the State.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has ruled Gujarat for 27 years, is trying to retain power in the State for the seventh term in a row. If it succeeds, it will equal the record of the Left Front government which won the West Bengal elections for seven consecutive terms till 2011.
This time, the BJP faces competition not just from its traditional rival Congress but also the new poll entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has tried to position itself as the main challenger of the ruling party.
The BJP and the Congress are contesting in all 89 seats.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP is contesting in 88 seats. Its candidate from Surat East constituency had withdrawn his candidature, leaving the party with one less seat to contest in the first phase.
Here are the latest updates:
Around 56.8 % voting registered in the first phase of polling in Gujarat on 89 assembly seats of Saurashtra and South Gujarat districts. - Mahesh Langa
Voting ends in first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections
Voting ended for the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections in 89 seats across 19 districts of Saurashtra-Kutch and southern regions at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
While the final voting figures were awaited, 48.48% turn-out was recorded till 3 pm, the Election Commission said.
Barring a few minor incidents and some reports of problems in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), the voting process, which commenced at 8 a.m., remained largely peaceful.
The second phase of elections will be held on December 5 and results will be announced on December 8. - PTI
Independent candidate Solanki wants allowance for all who grow a moustache
His hands outstretched, Maganbhai Solanki holds up his moustache and says proudly that it measures almost five feet tip to tip – the carefully tended feature the Independent candidate’s calling card and also a campaign point.
The 57-year-old contestant from Himatnagar seat in Sabarkantha district retired from the Army as an honorary lieutenant in 2012 and has a ready ask from the state government.
“Whoever grows a moustache, the government should pay some amount for its maintenance,” Solanki told PTI.
He would also urge the state government to bring in a law to inspire the youth of Gujarat to grow moustache if elected.
“In the Army, I got a special allowance to maintain my moustache. I was known as moochwala in my regiment. My moustache is my pride. It makes me stand out in the crowd,” Solanki said.
As he seeks votes at a market in Himatnagar, his luxuriant moustache is indeed the focus of much attention.
“Moochein ho to inki jaisi, warna na ho,” said a voter quoting a famous dialogue from Amitabh Bachchan starrer “Sharaabi”.
Solanki knows he doesn’t have much chance in wresting Himatnagar from the BJP and says candidly that he contests elections because he loves to and has been doing so since the 2017 assembly elections in the state.
“I was then a candidate of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). I lost but did not give up. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, I contested as an Independent. This time also I am contesting as an Independent,” he told PTI. - PTI
48.48% voter turnout till 3 pm
An average voter turnout of 48.48% was recorded till 3 p.m. in the first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections underway in 89 seats, the Election Commission said.
Tapi recorded the highest voter turnout at 63.98% till 3 pm, followed by Narmada 63.95% and Dangs 58.55%. All these districts are tribal-dominated.
Porbandar records the lowest turnout of 30.06% in first five hours
Out of the 19 districts where polling was underway on Thursday, Tapi recorded the highest voter turnout at 46.29% till 1 pm, followed by Dang 46.22% and Narmada 46.16%. All these districts are tribal-dominated.
Porbandar recorded the lowest turnout of 30.06% and Botad reported 30.12% voting during the period.
The voting percentage in Surat stood at 33.40% and in Rajkot at 32.89%.
“Around 0.1% ballot units, 0.1% control units and 0.3% VVPATs were replaced in three hours of voting. Reserve machine sets are available in all districts with the zonal officer in-charge of that area. Wherever a small or big problem occurs, arrangements have been made to replace them in no time,” the state CEO’s office said in a release.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, State BJP chief CR Paatil, Rajya Sabha member Parimal Nathwani, BJP candidate from Jamnagar (North) Rivaba Jadeja, former Congress leader of opposition Paresh Dhanani, state Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) president Gopal Italia were among those who voted in the early hours of polling.
Even as voting was underway in parts of the state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed rallies at Kalol in Panchmahal and Chhota Udepur, where the elections will be held in the second phase on December 5. — PTI
34.65% voter turnout till 1 p.m.: Election Commission
Gujarat recorded 34.65 % voting till 1 p.m. on 89 Assembly seats of Saurashtra and South Gujarat districts in the first phase of elections. —The Hindu
Whenever Congress attacked Modi, voters of Gujarat gave befitting reply: Amit Shah
Reacting to Congress’ “Ravan” remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said that the people of Gujarat have always given a reply to Congress through the ballot box whenever they have used inappropriate words against PM Modi.
While holding a roadshow in Sanand in Ahmedabad, the Home Minister told ANI, “Whenever Congress has used inappropriate words against PM Modi, then the people of Gujarat have given a reply through the ballot box. This time also the people of the state will give a reply.”
The Home Minister’s roadshow is being held when polling for the first phase in 89 of the 182 constituencies is underway in the State.
Scores of people joined the Home Minister in the roadshow.
Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya casts vote, says BJP will break its own record in Gujarat
Union Health Minister and BJP leader Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday cast his vote for the first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections in Hanol village in the Bhavnagar district.
Mr. Mandaviya, before he went to cast his vote, said that this time BJP will break its own record and will create a new record.
“People of my village (Hanol) have always believed in the politics of development. I see that the trust of the people of Gujarat has increased in BJP. This time we will break our record and will create a new record,” said the Union Health Minister.—ANI
These are “semi-finals” for 2024 Lok Sabha elections: Gujarat Finance Minister
These 2022 Assembly polls in Gujarat are the “semi-finals” for Lok Sabha elections 2024 in the country, State Finance Minister Kanubhai Desai said after casting his vote on Thursday.
“After the country accepted Gujarat’s model of development in the year 2014, these 2022 assembly elections are the semi-finals for 2024 elections,” Kanubhai Desai said in a conversation with ANI.
He said that every person in Gujarat has decided to vote for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to bring it to power once again.
“Gujarat has been progressing and the people of the state have decided to vote for the BJP. People have trust in BJP that there will be more development in the state,” he added. —ANI
It’s not Jadeja vs Jadeja in Jamnagar: Congress’ Naina Jadeja, sister-in-law of BJP’s Rivaba Jadeja
Naina Jadeja, sister-in-law of BJP’s Rivaba Jadeja, who campaigned for Congress, on Thursday said that it’s not “Jadeja versus Jadeja” in Jamnagar because several families in Jamnagar have members working for different parties.
Ravindra Jadeja’s wife Rivaba Jadeja is a BJP candidate from Jamnagar North while Anirudhsinh and Naina campaigned for Congress candidate.
Anirudhsinh Jadeja and Naina Jadeja, father and sister of cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, cast their vote at a polling station in Jamnagar.—ANI
Almost 19% voting till 11 a.m.
Gujarat records 18.95 % voting till 11 a.m. on 89 assembly seats of Saurashtra and South Gujarat districts in the first phase of polling. —The Hindu
Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja casts vote in Jamnagar
Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja on Thursday cast his vote at a polling station in Jamnagar in the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections and appealed to people to vote in large numbers.
His wife and BJP candidate Rivaba Jadeja voted in Rajkot earlier today.
“I appeal to the people to vote in large numbers,” said Ravindra Jadeja.
Congress MLA carries ‘gas cylinder’ on his bicycle to cast vote
Congress MLA Paresh Dhanani cast his vote for Assembly elections in Gujarat in a bizarre manner as he carried a ‘gas cylinder’ with him on the bicycle he was riding.
With the intention to underline the issues of high fuel prices, inflation and joblessness, the Congress MLA from Amreli went to the polling booth on a bicycle with a cylinder on it.
While talking to ANI, Paresh Dhanani charged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for conspiring to make Gujarat a slave within the walls of selfishness and fear.
“The BJP conspired to turn Gujarat into a slave between the walls of selfishness and fear. Because of the government’s failure, inflation and unemployment are regularly increasing. A gas cylinder costs over Rs 1100, electricity is expensive, the price of transportation has skyrocketed, education is being privatised, government schools are shut, more than 3.5 lakh people lost their lives to Corona. I believe there is extreme distress due to the BJP’s failure,” Paresh Dhanani said.
He further said that he has voted to defeat inflation.
“My vote will open the doors of new opportunities for the youth with a new government. There will be a transition of power and Congres will come,” he added.—ANI
100-year-old casts her vote in Umargam
100-year-old Kamuben Lalabhai Patel on Thursday exercised her franchise in Umargam in the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections.
Many senior citizens are stepping out to cast their vote amid the first phase of polling that is underway in the State.
As per Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, Gujarat has 9.8 lakh senior citizen voters.
Out of the total number of electorates, 1,24,33,362 are males, 1,1,5,42,811 females and 497 are from the third gender. Over 4 lakh PWD voters are eligible to cast their votes.
Nearly 9.8 lakh senior citizen voters (80+) and nearly 10,000 voters who are 100 and above are eligible to vote.—ANI
4.92% turnout in first hour of polling in Gujarat
An average 4.92% voter turnout was recorded in the first hour of polling on Thursday in the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections in 89 seats across 19 districts Saurashtra-Kutch and southern regions, the Election Commission said.
The EC tweeted a picture of a centenarian voter, Kamuben Patel, proudly showing her inked finger after casting her vote at a polling station in Umbergaon Assembly constituency in Valsad district.
Former Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani and state Aam Aadmi Party president Gopal Italia were also among the early voters.
Surat district recorded a turnout of about 4%, while Dang and Tapi, two tribal-dominated districts in the south region recorded brisk voting 7.76% and 7.25%, respectively.
Porbandar recorded the lowest turnout of 3.92% so far, while Kutch district reported five% polling, the EC said in its latest update.
J.P. Nadda, Amit Shah, Rahul Gandhi urge people to vote in large numbers
BJP national president JP Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal among others urged voters to cast their votes in the first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections on Thursday.
Taking to Twitter, Mr. Nadda appealed to all the State’s people to vote in large numbers for peace, development and prosperity. “Today is the first phase of polling in Gujarat. I appeal to all the brothers and sisters to vote in large numbers for peace, development and prosperity in the state, this is the main pillar of progress. Your participation in this great festival of democracy will play an important role in building a developed Gujarat,” he said.
The Union Home Minister Amit Shah urged voters of the first phase to vote with unprecedented enthusiasm and numbers to continue this development journey.
“In the last two decades, Gujarat has become synonymous with development and peace, which every Indian is proud of. But this was possible because of the strong government elected by the people of Gujarat. I appeal to the voters of the first phase to vote with unprecedented enthusiasm and numbers to continue this development journey,” Mr. Shah tweeted.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel also appealed to voters to vote in large numbers and contribute to strengthening democracy.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi appealed to voters of Gujarat to vote for employment, cheap gas cylinder and a progressive future for the State.
“There is an appeal to all the brothers and sisters of Gujarat, vote...for employment, cheap gas cylinder, for loan waiver of farmers, for the progressive future of Gujarat, vote in large numbers and make this festival of democracy a success,” Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet. —ANI
BJP’s Rivaba Jadeja casts her vote in Surat, says party will win with good margin
Exuding confidence that the BJP will win with a good margin, BJP candidate from North Jamnagar Rivaba Jadeja on Thursday said that they would focus on the overall development of the State after forming the government.
Rivaba Jadeja was speaking to media persons after she cast her vote in Rajkot.
BJP has fielded Rivaba, wife of cricketer Ravindra Jadeja from the North Jamnagar seat.
“There is no difficulty. There can be people of different ideologies in the same family. I have trust in the people of Jamnagar, we will focus on overall development, and this time as well BJP will win with a good margin,” said BJP’s Rivaba Jadeja.
She also requested people to vote in large numbers while considering this festival of democracy as a part of the responsibility. —ANI
MP Governor Mangubhai Patel, Gujarat Minister Purnesh Modi cast their votes
Madhya Pradesh Governor Mangubhai Patel and his wife cast their votes on Thursday at a polling booth in Navsari, in the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections.
Gujarat Minister Purnesh Modi also exercised his franchise at a polling booth in Surat. —ANI
PM Modi to hold 50 km long roadshow in Ahmedabad today for second phase of Gujarat polls
After a gap of two days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will once again return to the Gujarat election campaign trail and this time with a three-hour-long mega roadshow spanning across 16 Assembly constituencies for the second phase of State Assembly elections.
According to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), this mega show will cover more than 50 km starting from the Naroda Gam and ending at Gandhinagar South constituency.
The Prime Minister’s roadshow is likely to begin at 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon and is expected to go on till 6:30 p.m. this evening with PM Modi making at least 35 stops at the memorials of prominent personalities including Pandit Dindayal Upadhyay, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on the way.
This road show by the Prime Minister is expected to pass through 16 Assembly constituencies that go into polls in the second phase of the Gujarat election on December 5. - ANI
Exercise franchise in record numbers, PM Modi tells first time voters
As the voting for the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections began on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called upon people, especially first-time voters to come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.
“Today is the first phase of the Gujarat elections. I call upon all those voting today, particularly first-time voters to exercise their franchise in record numbers,” PM Modi said in a tweet.
Voting starts across 14,382 polling stations, live webcasting to keep a close eye
Polling began at 8 a.m. on Thursday for the first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections in 89 out of the total 182 seats across 19 districts of Saurashtra-Kutch region and southern parts of the state to decide the fate of 788 candidates.
The voting is being held across 14,382 polling stations, of which 3,311 are in the urban and 11,071 in rural areas, the office of the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said.
Live webcasting is being done from 13,065 polling stations to keep a close eye on the process, it said.
The election body has set up 89 ‘model polling stations’ and as many eco-friendly polling stations. There are 89 stations run by differently-abled and 611 by women.
A total of 34,324 ballot units, an equal number of control units, and 38,749 Voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines are being used for the election in the first phase, the release said.- PTI