The first phase of Gujarat Assembly election is being held today in which 89 seats are at stake. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have urged people to vote in large numbers.
Here are five points on Gujarat’s first phase of voting:
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is going for a record seventh consecutive term. Former Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani said he is confident that the BJP is going to form the government in Gujarat. “I am confident that BJP is going to form the Govt in Gujarat for the seventh time. People have love and respect for PM Modi, they won’t go anywhere else,” said Mr Rupani.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has claimed that it will win seven to eight of the 12 seats in Surat, where the ruling BJP won big in 2017. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal has campaigned aggressively in the state. The party is hoping to replicate its 2021 success in the city, when it secured 28 per cent of the vote share and won 27 of 120 seats to replace Congress as the main opposition.
The Congress, meanwhile, has said that AAP has a lot of “hype” but will remain a “marginal player” in the Gujarat assembly elections. Party leader Milind Deora said on Friday and asserted that his party would belie predictions to spring a surprise in the polls. Mr Deora, who is a Congress party observer for the Gujarat polls, told news agency PTI that there is a “strong undercurrent” of anti-incumbency against the BJP government in the state.
A total of 2,39,76,670 voters who will cast their votes by 5pm today will decide the fate of 788 candidates who are in the fray for the first phase. There are 14,382 voting centres, out of which 3,311 are in the urban areas and 11,071 in the rural areas.
Among prominent candidates, Gujarat Chief Minster Bhupendra Patel is contesting from Ghatlodia, AAP’s chief ministerial candidate Isudan Gadhvi from Khambhaliya, former Congress leader and BJP candidate Hardik Patel from Viramgam, former Congress leader and now BJP candidate Alpesh Thakor from Gandhinagar South.
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