The Election Commission (EC) received 312 complaints, including one against Prime Minister Narendra Modi among the 40 complaints that the Congress party filed, during Phase 2 of polling in Gujarat on Monday.
According to Kuldeep Arya, additional chief electoral officer of Gujarat, the Congress party also sought police protection for their candidate in Kalol assembly seat, Prabhatsinh Chauhan, who was allegedly attacked by a mob of 400 persons in Chhota Udepur. The party also sought EC action.
A third complaint was filed against Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel’s posters and banners, which continued to be displayed at Ghatlodia assembly constituency on voting day.
Later in the day, the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) claimed Model Code of Conduct violations on 36 seats that included a television interview of Viramgam BJP candidate Hardik Patel in which BJP was allegedly mentioned repeatedly.
Congress also complained of “anti-social elements” voting for the BJP at Jhalod and Kadi seats, booth capturing at Dariapur, “stopping and scaring” of voters at Bapunagar. Most of the Congress complaints where regarding the flags and posters of the BJP near polling booths, slow voting and non-functional EVMs.
After the voting concluded, Arya said among the 312 complaints received, 180 were through C-Vigil mobile application and 39 complaints through the call centre.
Chief electoral officer P Bharthi said that voting was peaceful except for three or four incidents of violence. “In Fatehpur village of Dahod district, two groups clashed and in the neighbouring Panchmahal district, we got a complaint about vehicles of a Congress candidate being damaged. At Kalol in Gandhinagar district, a group clash was also reported,” she said.
“After the polls began, 0.32% of ballot units, 0.33 per cent of control units and 1.07% VVPATs were replaced. This is 50 per cent less than the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.” Bharathi added. Live webcasting was done at 13,319 sensitive polling booths in Phase 2.
Meanwhile in 5,000 voters from three villages — Varetha, Davol and Dalisana — of Kheralu taluka in Mehsana district, abstained from voting, protesting about water scarcity and other issues.
During the elections, seizures worth Rs 801 crore were made that includes narcotics worth Rs 540 crore, Rs 31.92 crore in cash, liquor worth Rs 16.4 crore and precious metals and gold worth Rs 36.51 crore.
In Panchmahal district, polling officer Rakesh Bhatia (49) had to be rushed to hospital after he fell unconscious during voting due to “low sugar.”