Voting for general elections to six municipal corporations in the state – Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar – saw a tardy pace and low turnout on Sunday. As per the official website of the Gujarat State Election Commission (SEC), the six municipal corporations reported an average 43% voting. State Election Commissioner Sanjay Prasad said that polling has finished peacefully without any major untoward incident.
Earlier in the day, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani cast his vote in Rajkot hours after testing negative for Covid-19. The CM was diagnosed with the disease a day after he had fainted on stage while speaking at a poll event last week.
The municipal elections, which were conducted in six major cities – Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, and Jamnagar, are being seen as a litmus test for the Rupani-led BJP government in the state before the Assembly elections next year.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah cast his vote at a booth in Naranpura area of Ahmedabad. BJP MP Kirit Solanki and party MLA Rakesh Shah were among those who cast their votes in the initial hours on Sunday.
Votes were cast for a total of 575 seats with each ward having four corporators, and 2,276 candidates. The BJP fielded a maximum of 577 candidates, followed by 566 from the Congress. The Aam Aadmi Party fielded 470 candidates. A total of 444 candidates from other parties, including 91 from NCP, are also in the fray along with 228 independents. Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM will make its local bodies poll debut having fielded 21 candidates in six wards in Ahmedabad. The counting of votes will take place on February 23.