Polling for the second general election of Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC) concluded peacefully Sunday, with the state capital witnessing around 51 per cent people casting their votes for the total eight wards. A total of 108 candidates are in the fray for the local body to govern the state capital.
Secretary of Gujarat State Election Commission M V Joshi said, “We are still getting the voting percentage from various centres. However, it is likely to hover around 51 per cent which is less by around 8 per cent from the previous election in 2011, when 58.94 per cent voting had taken place.” “The voting has been completely peaceful with not a single untoward incident coming to my notice,” Joshi added.
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Gandhinagar was conferred a status of municipal corporation in 2011, following an order of the Gujarat High Court in that regard on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by some concerned citizens of the capital. The population of the GMC consists mainly of government employees and politicians.
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In its first general election in April 2011, the Congress had won the election. Then, Congress had 18 seats and the BJP 15 seats in the corporation comprising 11 wards, with each having three members. However, the BJP snatched power from the Congress, following the revolt by Mayor Mahendrasinh Rana, who quit Congress and joined the BJP, along with his supporters. Interestingly, Rana’s shift to BJP still stands challenged before the Gujarat High Court under the provisions of the Anti-Defection Law.
This year, voting for the eight GMC wards took place with each ward having four members. The change was due to the new 50 per cent reservation policy introduced by the Anandiben government for women candidates in the local institutions of self-governance. Following the 50 per cent reservation policy, the State Election Commission effected delimitation of wards, reducing its number to eight. The delimitation was done taking the 2011 census figures into consideration. The State Election Commission had also made arrangements for online voting in the elections which witnessed around 86 per cent registered online voters exercising their right. “This time round, 464 persons had registered for online voting. Out of them, 403 exercised their votes,” Joshi said.