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Gujarat polls: 60% voting seen in final phase

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Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi

An estimated 60% of the 1.99 crore voters exercised their franchise in 95 Assembly constituencies in Gujarat on Monday as the second and last phase of polling came to an end this evening.

By 4 pm, an average 58% of voters had cast their vote and long queues of voters were seen at most polling booths, waiting to exercise their democratic right. In the Kapadwanj constituency, from where former Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela is contesting on a Congress ticket, nearly 80% votes had been cast by 4 pm.

In the first phase of polling on December 13, a record 70.25% voters, out of 1.81 crore, had exercised their franchise in 87 Assembly

constituencies. This was a record polling after 1967. In the second phase also, a record polling is expected as the exact numbers emerge

late in the evening.

Polling largely remained peaceful across Gujarat and there were no reports of any untoward incident disrupting the process. However, police detained sitting BJP MLA Jethabhai Bharwad, who is recontesting from the Shehra constituency in the Panchmahals district, as his bodyguards opened fire at Congress workers at a polling booth following a stoning incident. Four persons were reported injured in the incident. Polling was stopped briefly due to the incident.

A total of 846 candidates were in the fray in the first phase of polls held in 48 constituencies across seven districts of the Saurashtra

region, 35 seats in seven districts of South Gujarat and four rural seats in Ahmedabad district. The total number of polling booths in the first phase was 21,261. Former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel was among those whose fate was sealed in the first phase.

In the second and last phase, in Kutch and North and Central Gujarat, votes were polled for 95 Assembly constituencies to elect the winners from amongst 820 candidates. A total of 1.99 crore voters were eligible to cast their vote in the second phase at 23,318 polling

stations. Chief Minister Narendra Modi was contesting from the Maninagar constituency in Ahmedabad.

Counting of votes polled in both the phases will be done on December 20 and the results will be declared the same day.

(This article was published on December 17, 2012)
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