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North, central Guj go to polls today, turnout could be lower

AHMEDABAD: Polling for 93 seats in the second and final Phase of assembly elections in Gujarat will be held on Thursday when around 2.22 crore people will vote. Counting of votes for all 182 seats will be held on Monday.

Phase two elections are being held for 61 seats in central Gujarat and 32 constituencies in north Gujarat.

Polling percentage in these areas was 72.64% in 2012 elections. But looking at the trend in the first phase, when voter turnout for 89 seats in Saurashtra and South Gujarat dropped to 66.75%, the number could go down despite intensive campaigning by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

The rhetoric for the second phase got vicious with Modi alleging that Pakistan was playing a role in Gujarat polls through Congress and that there was a plan to install Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel as CM. This evoked an angry response from former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who sought an apology from Modi for spreading “falsehoods and canards”.

In 2012, of these 93 seats, BJP won 52 seats and Congress 39. BJP will derive comfort from the fact that out of 23 urban seats which fall in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Gandhinagar municipal corporations, the party holds 21.

Many of the seats have been won four or five times since 1990 when BJP came to power for the first time. But while the two parties shared the spoils in semi-urban areas in these two regions, Congress had a clear edge in rural seats — winning 28 seats against BJP’s 20. These included the 13 ST reserved seats where Congress won 10.

Source : timesofindia

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North, central Guj go to polls today, turnout could be lower


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