Mumbai: Voting in the 89 constituencies of Gujarat took place on saturday successfully. The second phase of voting for the remaining 93 of the state’s 182 constituencies will be held on December 14, to form the government in Gujarat. For a party to form it’s own government in the state, they must secure at least 92 seats in the assembly.
The Gujarat Assembly Results will be announced on December 18.
The Congress’ Randeep Surjewala had his own opinion to voice out and so he said that “heavy polling” like today’s is usually seen as a vote for change, asserting that the Congress will form it’s government in Gujarat after 22 years of BJP rule. However, Gujarat had bucked that trend in the last election – the 71.3 per cent voter turnout was the highest since 1980 but electing the BJP back for the fourth term.
On the other edge, the Congress’ Ahmed Patel asserted that his party will win and also mentioned that there can “only be a hitch if there are problems with the EVM or any mischief.” By this, he was indirectly hinting towards the reports of faulty Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs in some parts of the state.
To which, The Election Commission said that a little over 0.5 per cent of the total ballot units and control units which make up the EVM had to be replaced during voting. That is about 181 ballot units and 223 control units, apart from 714 VVPAT or the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail machines. “Overall the number looks large but as a proportion of the total very few machines were found faulty. They were replaced,”, the panel said.
While the pictures of Saturday’s election showed the visuals of BJP has in past elections this time too have dominated the areas, it holds 67 of the 89 seats. Saurashtra and Surat are seen as strategically vital in this election because they have a large number of Patels or Patidars, an influential caste which was reportedly upset with the ruling party. Hardik Patel, the young Patidar activist was seen asking his community to reject BJP for failing to extend affirmative action policies to them.
In Surat, the diamond and textile hub that has 12 assembly seats, Rahul Gandhi has requested these traders to press pressure on BJP and punish them, alleging that PM Modi’s mega reforms like notes ban and new national tax GST is the result of bringing all small businesses to their knees. Union Ministers like Arun Jaitley and Smriti Irani defended the GST and demonetisation, trying to allay the concerns of the traders.