Stage set for voting in Phase 1 of high-stakes Gujarat elections
Eighty-nine of Gujarat’s 182 seat assembly will go to the polls on Thursday, with the BJP hoping to consolidate its position in a region it faced some reverses five years ago, and safeguard its bastion from the Congress and the AAP, which is looking to make gains in its maiden outing.
The second phase of the elections in 93 seats is scheduled for December 5, with results to be announced on December 8, along with those for Himachal Pradesh.Gujarat chief election officer (CEO) P Bharti said 788 candidates were in the fray in the 89 seats across 19 districts of south Gujarat and parts of the Kutch and Saurashtra regions. Around 23.9 million of the total 43.5 million voters of the state will be eligible to exercise their franchise on Thursday. In these 89 seats in 2017, the BJP won 48 with a voteshare of 49.3 %, and the Congress won 38 with 41.7% votes. This translated to a net pick-up of 16 seats by the Congress from 2012. Chhotubhai Vasava’s Bharatiya Tribal Party won two and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) one.