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At 64.33%, Gujarat records lowest turnout in 10 years

The final turnout figures published by the Election Commission on Tuesday for Phase 2 of the Assembly elections saw a turnout of 65.3 per cent.

Security personnel outside an EVM strong room in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. (Express photyo by Nirmal Harindran)
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Elections for the Gujarat Assembly, held in two phases, saw a total of turnout of 64.33 per cent, the lowest recorded in legislative assembly elections in the state in 10 years.

The final turnout figures published by the Election Commission on Tuesday for Phase 2 of the Assembly elections saw a turnout of 65.3 per cent. This turnout, coupled with the turnout of 63.14 per cent in Phase-1, took the total polling percentage to 64.33, which is lower than the 71.02 per cent clocked in 2012 and 69.01 per cent in 2017.

The Election Commission in Gujarat finalised the turnout figures for the polling held on Monday, almost 24 hours after the polling ended. Of the 4.9 crore voters in both the phases, 3.16 crore voters cast their votes.

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Of this 66.74 per cent were men and 61.75 per cent were women.

Speaking about the low turnout in Gujarat for the 2022 polls, Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi pointed out that the number of seats that the BJP has been winning has reduced along with the reduced turnout.

“BJP had won 117 seats in 2012 when the turnout was over 70 per cent. By 2017, their seats reduced to 99. This election, we might lose some closely contested seats. In fact, though Congress had kept a target of winning 125 seats before the elections, we will end up with 110 seats and will prove the exit polls wrong,” Doshi added.

Exuding confidence that the BJP would bag record number of seats, party spokesperson Yamal Vyas said, “Because of peak marriage season, the voting percentage is low. But voters of BJP have come out and voted and we will win record number of seats.”

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Security at the campus of Gujarat Arts and Science College in Ahmedabad where EVMs are stored ahead of counting of votes. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)

The highest polling of 86.91 per cent was registered at Tharad in Banaskantha district, tad better than the 86.15 per cent recorded in 2017. The lowest polling of 50.15 per cent was recorded on Garbada seat in Dahod.

Tharad is not only a seat where Shankar Chaudhary, chairman of Banas Dairy and former BJP minister, is locked in a prestige battle with sitting Congress MLA Gulabsinh Rajput, but it is also one of the 50-odd seats where milk co-operatives of Gujarat hold a sway in Phase 2 of polls.

Apart from Tharad, the neighbouring assembly constituency of Deesa in Banaskantha district — where an IAF airbase was promised to be built before polls were announced — also saw a turnout higher than 2017. While Deesa recorded 73.94 per cent polling, Dhanera with 75.63 per cent was the three of the nine seats in Banaskantha district to record better figures than 2017.

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Kalol seat in Gandhinagar district and Thasra in Kheda district are the other two seats where polling percentage in Phase 2 was higher compared to the 2017 polls.

Among the 14 districts that went to polls on Monday, the highest polling was seen in Banaskantha district. Though it clocked 72.24 per cent, the turnout was lower than 75.92 per cent clocked in 2017. Ahmedabad district has the lowest turnout of 58.49 per cent. In 2017, the voter turnout was 66.69 per cent.

Dahod and Chhota Udepur — two districts with maximum reserved seats for tribals — also saw lower turnout. While the turnout was 60.07 per cent for Dahod, Chhota Udepur saw 66.54 per cent. In 2017, Dahod recorded 66.84 per cent and Chhota Udepur recorded 70.96 per cent.

First published on: 07-12-2022 at 02:18 IST
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