Over 52% polling was registered during voting for the final phase of Gujarat assembly election where chief minister Narendra Modi is seeking third consecutive term. Barring an incident of firing at a polling booth in Panchmahal district, the voting has been peaceful in most of the 95 assembly seats up for grab in the second phase.
According to election commission the average polling registered till 3 pm across the 95 seats was 52%.
In connection with the incident of violence at Panchmahal an FIR is being registered against BJP MLA Jetha Bharwad and his personal security guards, who had opened firing at a polling booth in Shehra constituency. Four persons were injured in the incident in the firing, while Bharwad sustained minor injuries in the head during stone pelting by Congress workers.
After a record 71% voting in the first phase of polling on December 13, it is expected by all the political parties in fray that the second phase will also record a historic high turnout.
The second phase polling for the remaining of the 182-seat assembly, where Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is also seeking third term, began today with people queuing up in large numbers since the polling began at 8 am.
Modi was among the first to cast his vote in Ranip area of Ahmedabad. After voting he said, "People of Gujarat will once again help the BJP gain victory. It will ensure hat trick for BJP."
He later twitted "Cast my vote in Ahmedabad. Looking at overwhelming support of people of Gujarat, am confident we are heading for a hat-trick."
When asked about his role in national politics Modi said, "I am happy here. I am committed to the people of Gujarat. I believe, I am also serving the nation by serving Gujarat. Gujarat is not outside our country."
Nearly 19.9 million eligible voters would decided the fate of 820 candidates including the Gujarat Chief Minister whose nearest rival from Congress is Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt. There are 49 women candidates in fray on this phase as against 46 in the first phase.
The second phase of election is spread over 12 districts covering Norht, Central and Kutch regions, with 10.3 million male and 9.5 million female voters. There are 23,318 polling booths installed across the 95 constituencies (six in Kutch, 27 in North Gujarat and 62 in Central Gujarat) with 7256 micro observers keeping a watch to ensure smooth polling.
The BJP has fielded candidates for all 95 seats, Congress candidates are contesting from 92 seats while it NCP is contesting on three seats as part of pre-poll alliance with Congress. The Keshubhai Patel headed Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) and BSP has fielded 84 each. There are 284 independent candidates while 181 candidates are from other parties.