Polling ends in Gujarat, counting on 20th

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
 Gujarat CM Narendra Modi is full confident of winning the Assembly Polls
Ahmedabad: With a record voter turnout of about 70 per cent in the second and final phase Gujarat Assembly elections ended on Monday.

Stakes are too high for both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress (INC) as at the on hand Chief Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a third term and at the another end Congress is longing for its return to power in the state after a gap of 22 years.

An Election Commission official here said an estimated 70 per cent cast their ballots in the second and final phase.

"The total polling percentage in Gujarat was 70.2 percent. This is higher than 64.39 percent recorded in 1995," Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath told reporters here after the second phase of polling ended in Gujarat.

According to the CEC, the first phase polling December 13 was 70.75 percent. Narmada district recorded the highest voting percentage at 82.17 percent. 

The polling was marred by a firing incident involving BJP MLA from Sahera in Panchmahal district Jetha Bharwad in which four people were injured. Mr Bharwad has been detained and investigation is on.

Voting was held in 95 of these constituencies during the second phase of polls on Monday. Counting is set for Thursday.

Remarkably, BJP has a strength of 117 in the outgoing 182-member House. Congress is hoping to return to power in the State after a gap of 22 years.

Mr Modi, who is contesting from Maninagar in Ahmedabad city, and Congress’ Shankar Singh Vaghela, a former Chief Minister, were among the 822 candidates whose fate were sealed in the ballots today.

Mr Modi, a BJP stalwart, is locked in a direct contest with the Congress candidate Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt. A new entrant, Shweta is testing political waters for the first time.
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