Record 67 percent turnout in first phase of polls in Gujarat

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Women in Ahmedabad show their marked fingers after casting their votes. PTI photo

Ahmedabad (PTI): “Approximately 67 percent voting has taken place in the phase one of the state elections,” additional chief electoral officer Sanjiv Kumar said in Ahmedabad.

The second phase will be held on December 17 while the counting of votes will be taken up on December 20.

Today’s polling covered 48 in seven districts of Saurashtra region, 35 seats in seven districts of south Gujarat and four seats in Ahmedabad district.

A high voter turnout in Saurashtra and South Gujarat is being considered significant by the political observers.

The Saurashtra region, which is home to the powerful Patel community, could pose a tough challenge to Modi with Keshubhai Patel, who quit the BJP to form GPP, leading the charge. Modi succeeded Patel in 2001 as Chief Minister before he led BJP to thumping victories in 2002 and 2007.

Today’s voter turnout is the highest in the elections held so far in Gujarat.

The highest polling recorded earlier was 63.70 percent in 1967 elections. In 2007, the voter turnout was 59.77 percent.

Even in 2002, when Gujarat was riding on the pro-BJP wave, 61.55 percent voting was recorded.

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