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Gujarat polls : First phase today with pre-poll surveys forecasting a hat-trick for Modi

Ahmedabad, Dec 13 (): Free and fair conduct of first phase of elections starts in Gujarat today with a number of pre-poll surveys forecasting a hat-trick for Chief Minister Narendra Modi as most of the people in Gujarat have given more than two-thirds majority to the BJP.

Gujarat will be heading for the first phase of elections on this day where 1.81 crore voters will be deciding the fate of 846 candidates including 46 women. Out of a total of 1.81 crore voters, 95.7 lakh are said to be male voters whereas 86.02 lakh are known to be female voters.

The forty-eight seats in Rajkot, Jamnagar, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Porbandar, Surendranagar, and Junagadh are known to be vital and could be equally significant as these are the places where Keshubhai Patel is expected to cause damage to the chief minister of Gujarat. Though a number of pre-poll surveys have confirmed certain victory for Narendra Modi, all may not turn negative for the Congress; as such surveys have also proven to be futile in the past.

Preparations regarding the elections have come to an end for free and fair conduct of first phase of elections, noted the Election Commission.

“Tight security arrangements have been made around all polling stations in order to avoid any untoward incident. Polling staffs are there in the polling booths with EVMs and other election-related equipments,” said Anita Karwal, chief electoral officer.

Besides 48 seats in Saurashtra, 4 seats in Ahmedabad and 35 assembly constituencies in south Gujarat and south central Gujarat are moving towards the polls on Thursday. The BJP has nominated its candidate on all 87 seats, while Congress has fielded its candidates on 84 constituencies.

The Gujarat Parivartan Party will be contesting on 83 seats. Apart from these 28 political party candidates, 383 independent candidates are also in the list who will be facing the polls on Thursday.

The second phase voting for the remaining 95 Assembly seats will be taking place on December 17 and counting will be held on December 20. Voting starts at 8:00 am and ends by 5:00 pm.