Gujarat holds first phase of key elections

Thursday, December 13, 2012
Nearly 40 million people are eligible to vote in 182 constituencies 
AhmedabadBallots are being cast for the first phase of polling in the western Indian states of Gujarat  on Wednesday, where voters  in 87 of the 182 constituencies of the state assembly will exercise their franchise at 44,579 polling stations.

The election is crucial as many big-wigs like Keshubhai Patel, BJP state unit president RC Faldu, state Congress president Arjun Modhwadia and Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil are in the fray and polls will decide the fate of the state.

An average 38 per cent voting was recorded in the first five hours of polling across 87 seats in the first phase of Gujarat polls and good turnout is expected by the end of the today’s polling.

“An average 38 per cent polling has been recorded till 1 pm,” additional Chief Electoral officer Ashok Manek said.

The Gujarat election is seen as referendum on the status and nationwide popularity of the saffron leader Narendra Modi, who has ruled the state since October 2001.

Modi has been resembles as a tag for the development, as a pertinent candidate for the next Prime Minister of the India not because of his popularity as a Hindu leader rather for his effort of turning Gujarat into one of India's economic powerhouses.

Nearly 40 million people are eligible to vote in 182 assembly constituencies.

The ballot for the second phase will be cast on 17 December, with counting set for 20 December.

The incumbent regime is of Hindu nationalist, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has governed the state for 15 years, is facing a Congress party challenge in the election.

Modi is also seen as India's most divisive politician and loved for his effective development policies to pave way for economic investments in the state.

He was chief minister of the state during the 2002 religious riots when more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed.

In recent the UK's high commissioner in India, James Bevan, met Mr Modi, ending a 10-year boycott of the controversial leader.
Next Post »