Business Standard

Gujarat polls: Can the state beat its record turnout of 2012?

In the first phase of Assembly elections in 2012, around 18.1 million voters had decided the fate of 846 candidates in 87 constituencies, with a heavy turnout of 68%

Sohini Das & Vinay Umarji  |  Ahmedabad 

Gujarat polls
Voting underway for Surat's Kamrej Assembly seat. Photo: ANI

With Gujarat voting in the first phase of its 2017 Assembly elections on Saturday for 89 constituencies, the contest seems neck and neck between the ruling (BJP) and the Congress, say observers.

Voting for first phase began at 8 am on Saturday, with around 21,231,652 registered voters.

However, it is to be seen whether developments leading to the elections, be it the discontent arising out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation being latched on by Congress or the all out efforts by led by Prime Minister and team, would result in the highest ever.

Apparently, it was the previous state assembly elections in 2012 that had seen the highest of over 71.32 per cent in the history of Gujarat's Prior to this, the highest voting was recorded in 1995 with 64.39 per cent polling. 

In the first phase of assembly elections in 2012, around 18.1 million voters decided the fate of 846 candidates in 87 constituencies with a heavy of 68 per cent.  It needs to be seen if the record for the first phase would be broken this time.

"If it is a higher then the anti-establishment mood gets accentuated, with various communities like Dalits and OBCs coming out to vote. If it is not a higher turnout, then it is neck and neck between Congress and BJP, which most of the surveys are now predicting," says social scientist and political analyst Achyut Yagnik. 

had, apparently, declared its manifesto on Friday, right ahead of the first phase elections, keeping its focus on maintaining the current growth rate of the state.

This year, around 977 candidates will be contesting on 89 seats in the first phase which will see the (EC) using 27,158 (EVMs) with (VVPAT) at total 24,689 polling stations.

Second phase of the previous elections in the state had seen 70 per cent among the 19.8 million eligible voters for 95 out of 182 constituencies. This time, 93 constituencies would go for voting in the second phase on December 14. 

In 2012, of the 38 million eligible voters in the state, over 27.15 million voted in two phases of the held on December 13 and December 17, respectively. Nearly 73 per cent of male voters exercised their franchise, while 69.48 per cent women came out to vote during the two phase polling. 

The previous elections saw the tribal district of South Gujarat registering highest voters As many as 50 per cent of district, that is, 13 out of 26, have had more than 70 per cent voting

The tribal district of with 82.21 per cent voting which is the highest among all districts, followed by (80.43 per cent), Navsari (75.59 per cent), Sabarkantha (75.56 per cent), Bharuch (75.11 per cent), Banaskantha and Anand with 74.89 per cent each 

As many as 1666 candidates were in fray for the 182 seats of the state assembly in 2012.  



First Published: Sat, December 09 2017. 13:41 IST