60.2% voter turnout in first phase; PM Modi holds mega roadshow in Ahmedabad

Gujarat Assembly elections: 60.2% voter turnout in first phase; PM Modi holds mega roadshow in Ahmedabad

People lined up in a polling booth to cast their votes. PTI

Nearly 60.20 percent voter turnout was recorded in the first phase of Gujarat Assembly polls on Thursday, the Election Commission of India said.

Voting began at 8 in the morning and ended at 5 pm.

788 candidates were in the fray. Barring a few incidents, polling was largely peaceful across all 89 seats in south Gujarat and Saurashtra-Kutch regions which went to polls in this phase, PTI reported.

Locals protested at Dhrafa village in Jamjodhpur taluka of Jamnagar district as there were no separate polling booths for men and women.

They threatened to boycott voting, claiming that separate booths were always set up in the past.

In Junagadh, a ruckus broke out after police tried to stop a Congress leader who walked to the polling station carrying a gas cylinder on his shoulder to protest against inflation. Such protest was seen in many other places too.

The EC tweeted the picture of 104-year-old Ramjibhai who, it said, “participated in the festival of democracy by voting at the polling station instead of opting for a postal ballot.” At least 33 ballot units, 29 control units and 69 VVPATs were replaced in the first three hours of polling at different stations due to malfunctioning, the office of Chief Electoral Officer said in a statement.

“Around 0.1 percent ballot units, 0.1 percent control units and 0.3 percent VVPATs have been replaced in three hours of voting.

“Reserve machine sets are available in all districts with the zonal officer-in-charge of that area.

PM holds mega roadshow in Ahmedabad

PM Modi’s roadshow in Ahmedabad city, where polling will be held in the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections, started from Naroda village on Thursday evening.

A large number of people standing on both sides of the route welcomed Modi and greeted him with flowers during the roadshow. Standing on a specially-designed vehicle, the prime minister waved back at the crowd.

Harbhajan Singh takes part in AAP roadshow

Cricketer-turned-politician Harbhajan Singh on Thursday took part in the Aam Aadmi Party’s roadshow along with senior leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann here ahead of the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections.

He expected the same love in Gujarat that he received as a cricketer, said Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP. He also urged people to remember 8 December, the date of election results, if they wanted free electricity.

With inputs from agencies

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