Updated: October 4, 2021 1:06:46 am
The Gujarat State Election Commission (SEC) authorities said the polling for the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC), held Sunday, remained largely peaceful without any untoward incident. According to estimated figures of the SEC, the polling witnessed around 56.24 per cent voter turnout. The results are expected on October 5 after counting of votes.
“The election was held between 7 am and 6 pm. Voting has concluded peacefully with no untoward incident,” SEC stated in an official release.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Gandhinagar Superintendent of Police, Mayur Chavda, said, “Elections were peacefully conducted in Gandhinagar on Sunday. No incident of violence was reported throughout the day. There were a few calls made by workers of political parties with complaints against other parties’ workers. Neither have we received any application nor was there any FIR lodged at any of the police stations.”
Meanwhile, Devyang Trivedi, an Aam Aadmi Party (Gujarat) candidate contesting on one of the seats in ward number 9 of GMC, wrote to SEC complaining about BJP workers attempting to set their tent within 100 m of the polling booth. He also complained that they harassed AAP workers.
Apart from GMC, the SEC also conducted elections to two nagarpalikas–Tharad in Banaskantha and Okha in Devbhumi Dwarka–and mid-term elections to Bhanvad nagarpalika in Devbhumi Dwarka. The three nagarpalikas witnessed an estimated average of 59.52 per cent voting.
A total of 161 candidates are in the fray for the 44 seats across 11 wards in GMC. This time, the elections have become a three-pronged contest with the entry of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
While the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress fielded candidates on all 44 seats, the AAP had candidates in 40 seats. Other candidates in the fray include 14 from the BSP, two from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), six from other parties and 11 independents.
A total of 2.82 lakh voters–1.45 lakh males and 1.36 lakh females–were expected to cast votes in the elections. The SEC had set up a total of 284 polling booths of which 129 were marked as ‘sensitive’.
In the previous GMC elections, the BJP and the Congress were tied with each party winning 16 of the total 32 seats. But within days, in a stunning move, Congress councillor Pravin Patel and one of his associates defected to the BJP, paving the way for the latter to form the body in GMC. Patel then became the Gandhinagar mayor.
Later, following the new delimitation, the total number of seats in GMC was increased to 44. Elections to GMC were due in April this year. However, it was postponed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Being the state capital where a significant number of residents are government employees, GMC elections assume significance. This was also the first major election after newly-appointed Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel took charge.
Along with GMC and other general and mid-term elections, the SEC also conducted by-elections to two seats of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and one in Junagadh Municipal Corporation (JMC). Similarly, it also held by-elections for some vacant seats of various nagarpalikas, taluka panchayats and district panchayats. The three seats of AMC and JMC witnessed a lower voter turnout of 27.20 per cent.
By-elections to some vacant seats of various nagarpalikas, taluka panchayats and district panchayats were also held Sunday.
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