March 2, 2021 3:56:17 am
The Gujarat State Election Commission (SEC), on Monday, declared the final figures of the polling for 31 district panchayats, 231 taluka panchayats and 81 municipalities in the state. As per the figures, district panchayats witnessed average voting of 66.67 per cent, taluka panchayats recorded voting of 66.86 per cent and municipalities witnessed average voting of 59.05 per cent.
Counting of votes for the local bodies will be done by the SEC at 542 places in the state on Tuesday. In all, 58,245 officials will be discharging their duties in the counting of votes.
Voting for around 7,998 seats of the local bodies was held on Sunday. Prior to that, 237 seats were declared elected uncontested by various candidates.
Five years ago in November 2015, general elections to 56 municipalities, 31 district panchayats and 230 taluka panchayats were held. In those elections, municipalities had recorded 62.77 per cent voting, district panchayats recorded 69.55 percent voting and taluka panchayats witnessed 69.28 per cent voting.
During the voting on Sunday, violence was reported at various places in the state. In one such incident, an attempt was made to capture a booth in Ghodiya village of Zalod taluka in Dahod district. Unidentified persons had allegedly entered the booth and tried to vandalize the electronic voting machines (EVMs) at the location. Following the incident, voting was suspended at the booth with orders of re-polling to be carried out on Monday. As per SEC officials, the re-polling on Monday concluded peacefully with voters’ turnout recorded at 49.12 per cent.
Meanwhile, a group of civil rights activists have lodged a complaint with Gujarat State Election Commissioner Sanjay Prasad against Kunvarji Bavaliya, Cabinet Minister in the Vijay Rupani government, seeking action against him for violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
In its complaint, the group – Nagrik Sashaktikaran Manch – has informed Prasad that Bavaliya did not maintain confidentiality of his vote. After casting his vote, the complaint added, Bavaliya said that he voted for BJP and asked others to vote for the party, too.
It added that voting has to be confidential and violating the confidentiality outside a polling booth is a breach of the MCC. “The State Election Commission should take immediate action to set an example and give a message that law is equal for all,” the complaint stated.
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