Polling was held from 7 am to 6 pm on Sunday for a total of 144 wards across six civic bodies amid tight security and following COVID-19 norms.
The counting of votes for 575 seats in six municipal corporations of Gujarat, polling for which took place on Sunday, will be held today (Tuesday, 23 February).
The counting of votes will be held for 192 seats across 48 wards in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, for 120 seats across 30 wards in the Surat Municipal Corporation, 76 seats across 19 wards of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation, for 72 seats across 18 wards in the Rajkot Municipal Corporation, 52 seats across 13 wards in the Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation and 64 seats across 16 wards in the Jamnagar Municipal Corporation.
The State Election Commission in release on Monday said that an average voter turnout of 46.1 percent was recorded in the elections to six municipal corporations, with 52.83 lakh of the 1.41 crore registered voters exercising their franchise on Sunday. During the 2015 polls to these six civic bodies, 45.81 percent of the electorate had cast their votes, the release said.
As per the final figures shared by the SEC, Ahmedabad had the lowest turnout of 42.5 percent, while Jamnagar recorded the highest turnout of 53.4 percent. Besides, Rajkot recorded 50.7 percent polling, Bhavnagar-49.5 percent, Vadodara-47.8 percent and Surat- 47.1 percent.
Polling was held from 7 am to 6 pm on Sunday for a total of 144 wards across six civic bodies amid tight security and following COVID-19 norms. Top leaders of the BJP, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP MP Kirit Solanki, party MLA Rakesh Shah and Gujarat party chief CR Paatil, cast their votes on Sunday. According to reports, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani also cast his vote in Rajkot, hours after testing negative for COVID-19 .
After exercising his franchise at a polling booth in Naranpura sub-divisional office of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Shah expressed confidence that the BJP will win the municipal elections.
“The BJP has emerged victorious across the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I am sure that Gujarat, from where the BJP’s victory journey started, will again establish itself as a stronghold of the BJP,” Shah said.
“I am sure that voters will turn out in large numbers and development will win,” he further said.
According to The Indian Express, State Election Commissioner Sanjay Prasad said that polling took place peacefully, without any major untoward incident.
However, the Gujarat Congress lodged nine complaints with the SEC about alleged discrepancies in voters’ list, alleged attempts to intimidate voters, and alleged faulty EVM machines in Ahmedabad civic polls, said the report. The Congress, claiming violation of poll guidelines, also submitted a complaint against Rupani for flying into Rajkot with a helicopter to cast his vote, according to the report.
The civic body elections are being seen as a test for the Rupani government as it may set the tone for the Assembly polls slated for next year.
The main contest is between the BJP, which has ruled the six corporations for last several terms, and the main Opposition Congress. During the poll campaign, the BJP played the “development” card, while the Congress, which has been out of power in these local bodies for a long time now, cited the “lack of amenities” and the recent fuel price hike to turn the tide.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has claimed it would be an effective alternative to the BJP and Congress, while Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) is making its debut in the local bodies polls, having fielded 21 candidates in six wards of Ahmedabad.
A total of 2,276 candidates, comprising 577 from the BJP, 566 from the Congress, 470 from AAP, 91 from NCP, 353 from other parties, and 228 Independents, contested the elections.
Besides, nine candidates were also in the fray for by-elections to two seats in the Junagadh Municipal Corporation. After the results are announced today, elections to 31 district and 231 taluka panchayats and 81 municipalities will be held on 28 February.
With inputs from PTI
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