This Article is From Dec 02, 2022

Gujarat Elections Day 1 Sees 60% Turnout, 6% Lower Than Last Time: 10 Points

The second phase of polling will be held on December 5. The counting of votes is scheduled for December 8.

The counting of votes is scheduled for December 8. (File)

New Delhi: 89 assembly seats went to polls yesterday in the first phase of assembly polls in Gujarat. Surat is among the key areas that voted. While the BJP is pushing for the seventh consecutive term in the state, the AAP has launched a mega campaign.

Here is your 10-point cheat-sheet to this phase

  1. A moderate voter turnout of 60.23 per cent was recorded in the polls covering the 19 districts of Saurashtra-Kutch and southern regions of the state, with the voting largely peaceful, officials said. The voter turnout was less than 66.75 per cent recorded in the first phase of the 2017 Assembly polls.

  2. Barring a few incidents and reports of technical glitches in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) at some places, the voting process, which began at 8 am, was largely peaceful, Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer P Bharathi said.

  3. The focus of the first phase of polling was Surat, a key industrial hub also known as Diamond City. Surat is known to be a BJP stronghold and played a key role in helping the party return to power in the 2017 polls.

  4. This time, however, there is a new challenger. The Aam Aadmi Party has campaigned extensively in the district, and party supremo Arvind Kejriwal has said they hope to win at least half of the 16 segments there.

  5. Another constituency that will be closely watched is Morbi, where a suspension bridge collapsed on October 30, killing 135 people. The BJP-led state government has faced massive criticism over the tragedy. Investigation into the incident has revealed massive lapses in the renovation and the management of the bridge, with the high court asking tough questions to the administration.

  6. The BJP has fielded Kantilal Amrutiya, a former legislator who was not on the initial list of party candidates but made a last-minute entry after he was seen jumping into the water to save people after the bridge collapse. The Congress candidate is Jayantilal Patel/

  7. Other key candidates in the first phase include former Leader of Opposition in Assembly Paresh Dhanani, the AAP's Chief Ministerial face Isudan Gadhvi, and cricketer Ravindra Jadeja's wife Rivaba Jadeja (BJP).

  8. For the BJP, which has been ruling the state since 1995, the real challenge is arresting the slide in numbers. The party's score has been shrinking since 2002 - dropping from 137 to 99 in the 2017 election.

  9. The home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Gujarat is a huge prestige battle for the BJP. The party has set a target of winning 140 out of the 182 seats in the Assembly. The PM, as the face of the campaign, has addressed 20 rallies in the state so far and seven others are on the agenda for the second phase.

  10. For AAP, Arvind Kejriwal has led an extensive campaign as the party pushes to expand its national footprint following a thumping victory in Punjab this year. Mr Kejriwal has predicted that the party, which failed to open an account in the 2017 polls, will win 92 seats this time.

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