LIVE UPDATES: Polling begins in first phase of Gujarat elections

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Voters have begun exercising their rights to franchise in the first phase of Gujarat assembly polls on Saturday across 89 constituencies spread out in the 19 districts of Kutch, Saurashtra and southern regions.

27,158 EVMs are being used in 24,689 polling stations in the first of two-phase of the crucial polls, that will test the dominance of the BJP’s 22 years of government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Phase 1 of Gujarat polls begin. Urging all those voting today to turnout in record numbers and vote. I particularly call upon youngsters to exercise their franchise.”

Senior Congress functionary from Gujarat, Arjun Modhwadia, who along with the incumbent chief minister, Vijay Rupani, cast his vote with his family members, urged people to vote to elect a people-friendly government.

He said, “Urging people to turnout in record numbers and vote for Congress to elect people friendly Government, which believes in Inclusive Development.”

A total of 977 candidates are in the fray from Kutch, Morbi, Jamnagar, Surendranagar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Rajkot, Botad, Porbandar, Junagadh, Amreli, Gir Somnath, Bhavnagar, Bharuch, Narmada, Surat, Tapi, Navsari, Dang and Valsad districts.

Of the 89 seats, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party holds 67 and the Congress 16. One seat each is held by the NCP and JD-U while independents hold the remaining two.

Polling, which began at 8 a.m., will end at 5 p.m. There are a total of 24,689 polling booths.

Abdasa Assembly seat in Kachchh district is the largest constituency, which is spread over 6,278 sq km. Karanj Assembly seat in Surat district is smallest constituency, which is spread over only 4 sq km.

Of the 2,12,31,652 voters, 1,11,05,933 are males and 1,01,25,472 females while 247 are from the third gender.

The second phase polling is on 14 December and counting, along with that of Himachal Pradesh, will be held on 18 December.

Here are LIVE updates:

  • Congress will win 110 seats in Gujarat. I was never a chief minister candidate, will never be. The poster was a mischief of BJP: Ahmed Patel after casting his vote
  • Faulty EVM reported in Sardar Patel Vidyalaya booth in Surat’s Varaccha. Election Commission replaces the machine. There have been several complaints of EVM malfunctioning from across Saurashtra. In Rajkot alone, more than 30 incidents of EVM glitches have been reported.
  • 20% voting in Gujarat assembly elections till 11 AM

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