Gujarat BJP president C R Paatil Saturday said that during Phase-1 of the Assembly polls, 10 lakh more votes were cast compared to 2017, and that the increased voting will favour the BJP.
“In Phase-1 of polling, 1.51 crore votes were cast. In the same 89 seats in 2017, 1.41 crore votes were cast. This means an increase of 10 lakh in the votes,” Paatil said.
In this five-year period, the total number of voters in Gujarat rose by 55 lakh, from 4.35 crore to 4.9 crore, a rise of 13%.
“In percentage terms, the voting looks less… But the total votes have increased,” he said, addressing reporters. The Election Commission has put the December 1 Phase-1 voting figures at 63.31%, lower than the 66.79% in 2017.
On Saturday, the EC attributed the decline partly to urban voter apathy.
Claiming that the rise in number of voters will benefit the BJP, Paatil said the party will create three records this time: most seats, the largest lead by candidates, and record vote share for the party.
On the Opposition’s claims that the whole top brass of the BJP being pressed into campaigning showed the party’s nervousness, Paatil said it was natural for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to participate as Gujarat was their “home”.
He urged people that on December 5, the second phase of the polls, they should “convert their trust in PM Modi into votes”.
Campaigning for the 93 seats that will vote in Phase-2 ended on Saturday.