Thursday, Feb 09, 2023

Gujarat Assembly Elections Highlights: PM Narendra Modi wraps up his campaign in Gujarat; Amit Shah holds roadshow in Vadodara

Gujarat Assembly Elections 2022 Highlights, December 2, 2022: Barring a few untoward incidents and reports of technical glitches in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in some places, the voting process, was largely peaceful, Chief Electoral Officer P Bharathi said.

By: Express Web Desk
Ahmedabad, New Delhi | Updated: December 2, 2022 22:33 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah campaigning for the second phase of Gujarat elections (Express)

Gujarat Assembly Elections 2022 Highlights:  Over 60% voter turnout was recorded on Thursday as polling in the first phase of Gujarat Assembly polls ended at 5 pm. Barring a few untoward incidents and reports of technical glitches in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in some places, the voting process, was largely peaceful, Chief Electoral Officer P Bharathi said.

Political parties on Friday will continue their campaigns for the second phase of the elections. PM Narendra Modi is scheduled to address public rallies at four places today; he began his programmes with the 12 pm campaign in Banaskantha’s Kakrej. Union Home minister Amit Shah will also address the public at four places today. AAP’s chief ministerial candidate Isudan Gadhvi, and leader Gopal Italia will campaign for the party. For the Congress, MP Shaktisinh Gohil is expected to conduct rallies in Thasra and Matar assembly constituencies.

The northern districts which will go to polls on December 5 for the second phase will be a tough battleground for all parties as the Congress has performed better than the BJP in the last two assembly elections there. Congress will try to retain its edge in the region, which accounts for 32 seats, while BJP is facing rebellion in some pockets.

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21:59 (IST)02 Dec 2022
PM Modi wraps up his Gujarat campaign, addresses 31 rallies

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed over 31 rallies and led three big road shows in Gujarat wrapping up on Friday his campaign for the BJP in the assembly polls as the party looks to maintain its uninterrupted winning streak there since 1995 in a triangular contest involving the Congress and the AAP. Saturday is the last day for campaign, with the second and final phase of the polls for 93 seats set for December 5. The first phase of the polls for 89 seats were held on December 1.

A key highlight of Modi's public outreach was his roadshow in Ahmedabad on Thursday which BJP sources described as the "longest and largest" in the country. (PTI)

20:08 (IST)02 Dec 2022
63.31 per cent voting in first phase of Gujarat elections, drop from 66.7 per cent in 2017

An average voter turnout of 63.31 per cent was recorded in the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections in 89 seats, the Election Commission said on Friday while announcing final figures. The turnout was lower than the 66.75 per cent recorded in the first phase in the same 89 constituencies in the 2017 state elections.

Polling for the first phase in 19 districts of Saurashtra, Kutch and south Gujarat was held on Thursday. The fate of 788 candidates was sealed in Electronic Voting Machines. Dediapada in Narmada district recorded the highest 82.71 per cent voting, followed by Kaprada in Valsad district which had a turnout of 79.57 per cent. (PTI)

19:11 (IST)02 Dec 2022
BJP not filling govt vacancies in Gujarat as 50% of jobs will go to OBCs, SCs and STs: Mallikarjun Kharge

Claiming that there are five lakh vacancies in the state government, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge Friday, while addressing an election rally in Gujarat, said BJP is not filling these vacancies and opting to hire contract workers because half of the jobs are meant for the backward classes, scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST).

“Most of the jobs in Gujarat are on daily wages or on contract. There are about five lakh vacancies in the state government and semi-government institutions. Why are you not giving jobs? If they do so, then backward classes, SCs and STs will get 50 per cent reservation. So, they are not filling up these vacancies and opting for contractual workers and daily wagers,” said Kharge while addressing the meeting at Bhiloda in Aravalli district which the Congress has been winning since the last three terms. Read more

18:32 (IST)02 Dec 2022
As Modi insulates BJP from defeat, on Gujarat ground, voices for change mention Kejriwal — and the future

On the surface, Gujarat 2022 looks, in the words of a BJP leader, a “neeras (colourless)” election. A Congress leader agreed that everything about it is “anmana (indifferent)”. There is no wave, even though the BJP seems set to win — its workers not fired by the enthusiasm they have shown in the past. 

The Congress, which should have been upbeat, having come close to defeating the BJP in 2017, displays a fatigue. This when many, including BJP leaders, said this was the Congress’s election to take “101 taka” — if only it had got its act together and projected an effective leader. Today, many can’t even name who is its party chief or leader in the state Assembly. Read more

17:42 (IST)02 Dec 2022
PM Modi mounts offensive on Ravan jibe in Gujarat campaign, Cong says stick to ‘issues’

AS PRIME Minister Narendra Modi Thursday joined the offensive against the Congress over its party president Mallikarjun Kharge’s Ravan jibe against him during the Gujarat campaign, the Congress tried to play down the remarks, calling them a “non-issue”.

On the sidelines of an election rally in Vadodara, Kharge said: “I don’t want to get into this. You want to make this an issue and divert from (a discussion on) unemployment, inflation, GDP growth, development and poverty.” Read more

16:14 (IST)02 Dec 2022
#Politics | ‘Ambulance BJP’s star campaigner’: Congress wonders at ‘repeated arrival’ of the vehicle at Modi events

A video of Prime Minister Narendra Modi stopping his convoy during a roadshow in Ahmedabad on Thursday to make way for an ambulance has triggered a political slugfest on social media. 

While the BJP used the incident to assert Modi’s “sensitive” and “service-oriented” nature, the Congress pointed out that the PM’s convoy had similarly made way for an ambulance in Himachal Pradesh last month and alleged that these episodes were orchestrated. The Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat Assembly election results will be announced on December 8. Read more

15:19 (IST)02 Dec 2022
Cong only believes in stalling, delaying and misleading, alleges PM; says those who looted poor now abusing him

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday alleged that the Congress only believed in 'atkana, latkana aur bhatkana' (stalling, delaying and misleading), and said those who looted poor people in the country were now abusing him for putting an end to corruption. He also alleged that the previous Congress governments never showed any interest in bringing the Narmada river water to the parched regions of Gujarat as the party was only interested in doing those works where there was scope to indulge in corruption.

Modi was addressing a rally in Kankrej village of Banaskantha district, where voting for the second phase of Gujarat Assembly polls will be held on December 5. "Congress only believed in 'atkana', 'latkana' and 'bhatkana'. Elderly people from this region would tell you how Congress governments used to talk about bringing Narmada water in this parched region, but nothing was done on that front during their rule," he said. (PTI)

14:33 (IST)02 Dec 2022
Paresh Rawal apologises for 'cook fish for Bengalis' remark at Gujarat campaign speech

Veteran actor Paresh Rawal on Friday apologised for his statement linking gas cylinders, Bengalis and fish during a campaign speech in Gujarat, saying his reference was to illegal Bangladeshis and Rohingyas.

The apology came after a huge backlash from the Bengali community and some others on social media.

"Of course the fish is not the issue as Gujaratis do cook and eat fish. But let me clarify by Bengali I meant illegal Bangladeshi N Rohingya. But still if I have hurt your feelings and sentiments I do apologise," the 67-year-old actor and former BJP MP wrote on Twitter. (PTI)

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12:46 (IST)02 Dec 2022
Kejriwal govt provided 2 lakh jobs in Delhi in 8 years, says Mann

The Arvind Kejriwal Government provided two lakh job opportunities in Delhi in eight years, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann said in Ahmedabad. 

12:16 (IST)02 Dec 2022
Gujarat records 63.14 pc voter turnout in first phase of Assembly polls, down from 66.75 pc in last election

A voter turnout of 63.14 per cent was recorded in the first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections covering 89 seats across 19 districts of Saurashtra-Kutch and southern regions of the state, the Election Commission said on Friday.

In the 2017 Assembly election, the voter turnout in the first phase covering the same 89 constituencies stood at 66.75 per cent.
Polling for the first phase, in which the electoral fate of 788 candidates was locked in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), was held on Thursday.

Tribal-dominated Narmada district recorded the highest turnout of 78.24 per cent, followed by Tapi, another such district with 76.91 per cent. Navsari recorded 71.06 per cent voting, the EC said.

Botad district recorded the lowest voter turnout of 57.58 per cent, it said in its final tally. Amreli followed closely with 57.59 per cent turnout. (PTI)

11:14 (IST)02 Dec 2022
Gujarat polls: Prestige battle on in minority and Dalit-dominated Danilimda seat as BJP seeks to trounce Congress

An intense battle of prestige is on between the BJP and the Congress over the control of the minority and Dalit-dominated Danilimda Assembly constituency in Ahmedabad city of Gujarat, which the saffron party has never won since the seat came into existence a decade back.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is hopeful of breaking the jinx this time as it is pinning hopes on the division of Congress's votes in the seat that is all set for a four-cornered contest with the entry of the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) into the fray.

Danilimda, a Scheduled Caste (SC)-reserved assembly segment is one of the 21 seats in Ahmedabad district and it will go to polls in the second phase - on December 5. It was carved out following delimitation and has so far witnessed two assembly elections - in 2012 and 2017. It is one of the seats where the opposition party still holds clout. (PTI)

10:19 (IST)02 Dec 2022
61% turnout in Gujarat Phase I, a drop from 2017; tribal areas ahead of others in voting

Around 61% turnout had been recorded till 10 pm Thursday across 89 Assembly seats that voted in the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections Thursday. While the final count was still to come in, the figure is set to fall short of the 68% voting recorded in the first phase in the same seats in 2017.

While some ascribed the reason to absence of any big issue to polarise voters, the BJP and Congress claimed the other’s voters didn’t turn out at booths.

Tapi district recorded the highest provisional voting turnout of 72.32%. The tribal-dominated district has two Assembly constituencies, Vyara and Nizar. With 68.09% turnout, Narmada district stood second. Four other districts recorded over 60% turnout: Navsari (65.91%), Dang (64.84%), Valsad (62.46%) and Gir Somnath (60.46%).

Avinash Nair writes

22:21 (IST)01 Dec 2022
Gujarat: Lone voter from polling booth in Gir forest casts vote

A polling booth located in a remote forest area of Gir Somnath district in Gujarat recorded 100 per cent voting after its lone voter cast his vote on Thursday in the first phase of the state Assembly elections. The area is part of Una Assembly constituency, which went to polls on Thursday along with 88 other seats in the state.

The Election Commission (EC) had set up a polling booth at Banej village located inside Gir forest so that the only voter there can exercise his franchise. (PTI)

21:18 (IST)01 Dec 2022
Gujarat records 57% polling in Phase-1 as entire villages boycott voting over local demands

As the end of the first phase of voting for the Gujarat state Assembly, carried out in 89 constituencies across 19 districts, nearly 57 per cent of voters turned out to cast their votes, though the final figures are awaited. In the elections held in 2017, the turnout recorded in the first phase on the same seats was 68 per cent. A press release from the Election Commission said that the villages of Dhrafa in Jamnagar district, Samot in Narmada district and Kesar in Bharuch district had boycotted the elections totally.

In Dhrafa, villagers boycotted as their demand for separate polling stations for male and female voters was not met, while in Kesar village, the boycott was due to the lack of basic facilities for voting, as per primary information available with the EC, said the release. Avinash Nair writes

20:57 (IST)01 Dec 2022
Harbhajan takes part in AAP roadshow in Gujarat along with Kejriwal, Mann

Cricketer-turned-politician Harbhajan Singh on Thursday took part in the Aam Aadmi Party's roadshow along with senior leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann here ahead of the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections. He expected the same love in Gujarat which he received as a cricketer, said Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP. He also urged people to remember December 8, the date election results, if they wanted free electricity.

"Kem Chho (How are you)?....The result on December 8 should be such that it fills everyone with joy," Singh said. (PTI)

20:02 (IST)01 Dec 2022
In Pictures | PM Modi holds roadshow in Ahmedabad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a roadshow in the Ahmedabad district of Gujarat. The roadshow began from the Naroda Gam and will end at Gandhinagar South constituency. (Express/Nirmal Harindran)

19:39 (IST)01 Dec 2022
Don't repeat mistake committed post-Independence, bring BJP to power in Gujarat: PM Modi urges people

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the people of Gujarat to bring the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power in the state and not to repeat the "mistake" committed after the country's Independence, an apparent reference to the long rule of the Congress. He said the BJP government was necessary to build a strong foundation for India when the country celebrates 100 years of Independence 25 years from now.

Modi, while addressing an election rally in Himmatnagar town of Sabarkantha district, said, "This election is not just about forming a government here for five years. The country has completed 75 years of Independence. You must keep in mind where India will be 25 years from now. This election is all about making a government which would strengthen the foundation of the country for the next 25 years." Voting for 93 seats out of the total 182, including Himmatnagar, will be held on December 5 in the second phase. (PTI)

18:59 (IST)01 Dec 2022
Watch | Prime Minister Narendra Modi stops convoy to give way for ambulance during his roadshow in Ahmedabad
18:39 (IST)01 Dec 2022
Gujarat polls: PM Modi's 30-km-long roadshow underway in Ahmedabad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's more than 30-km-long roadshow in Ahmedabad city, where polling will be held in the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections, started from Naroda village on Thursday evening. A large number of people standing on both sides of the route welcomed Modi and greeted him with flowers during the roadshow that began around 5.20 pm. Standing on a specially-designed vehicle, the prime minister waved back at the crowd.

The mega roadshow will cover the eastern side of Ahmedabad and ends at the IOC circle in the Chandkheda area on the city's western side, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said in a release. (PTI)

17:49 (IST)01 Dec 2022
Over 57% voter turnout recorded as polling in first phase ends

Over 57% voter turnout was recorded on Thursday as polling in the first phase of Gujarat Assembly polls ended at 5 pm, the Election Commission said.

The 2022 Assembly election campaign in Gujarat is turning out to be about two absences – that of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, whose spree of temple runs and focus on Gujarat had been partly behind the party’s 2017 good showing in the state; and that of a narrative. In 2017, the elections had come in the wake of the Patidar agitation; in 2012, it was all about voting in Chief Minister Narendra Modi to enable him to make the national leap. In 2022, even the BJP’s gambit, like the others, is getting the caste arithmetic right, with Hindutva a distant second, and with Modi providing that little extra.

STATE WATCH | Modi the ace for BJP again, as it relies on caste card, adjusts to AAP in Gujarat

There is a reason the BJP would not let go Tuesday of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s off-hand remark talking of Narendra Modi and Ravana in the same breath. Nothing works to rally Gujarat voters behind their former chief minister and current Prime Minister as a personal attack on him. They may be unhappy about housing, education, health facilities, but across the state, the sentiment is common: “Can’t humiliate Modiji.”

modi rally Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a crowd during an election campaign as part of 'Vijay Sankalp Sammelan' at Race Course Ground in Rajkot. (Express photo by Chitral Khambhati)

ALSO READ | Above health, housing, education, one concern: ‘Won’t do anything to blemish Modiji’s honour’

The western Indian state of Gujarat is set to hold elections for the state Assembly this week. Since the time of India’s freedom struggle, and especially because it was the home state of leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, Gujarat was always a politically significant state in India. However, two factors have further bolstered the state’s political heft over the past three decades.

One, the Bharatiya Janata Party (or the BJP) has won all the Assembly elections since 1995. And barring a brief period between late 1996 and early 1998, the BJP has been in power in the state. To be precise, it has ruled without break since March 1998. Another five year term would mean that the BJP will extend its unbroken run to 29 years. For perspective, the longest that any party has been in power in a state was the 34 years (1977 to 2011) that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) governed the eastern state of West Bengal.

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First published on: 01-12-2022 at 07:00 IST
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