Gujarat polls: Counting of votes begins

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Ahmedabad: Amid tight security, the counting of votes for the Gujarat Assembly elections has started at 37 different locations across the state. The fate of 1,828 candidates, including 126 women will be decided in today’s counting.

Both the ruling BJP and the Congress party aggressively campaigned against each other to win the elections.

The security has been beefed up at all the strong rooms, where the EVMs and the VVPATs are kept.

The BJP and the Congress have asked their supporters and workers to maintain restrain in the wake of whatever outcome.

Among the heavyweights from the ruling dispensation, the electoral fate of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, BJP state President Jitu Vaghani and a score of ministers will be declared after the counting.

The Congress senior leaders Shaktisinh Gohil, Arjun Modhwadiya, Sidhartha Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mewani are among the prominent contestants.

This election was seen as the closest in more than a decade in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, with the Congress allying with three young leaders from sizeable caste groups including the Patidar leader 24-year-old Hardik Patel.

In an effort to woo voters, newly elected Congress President Rahul Gandhi tirelessly campaigned in the state since last three months and visited the temples almost 26 times. While the Prime Minister addressed as much as 34 rallies across the western state.

The election was held in two phases for 182-member house on December 9 and December 14. In the first phase of elections, the polling was conducted on 89 seats in the areas falling under Saurashtra and South Gujarat. The voting saw around 67 per cent turnout.

Meanwhile, in the second phase the voting saw a marginal improvement and was recorded at 68.7 per cent in remaining 93 constituencies in North as well as Central Gujarat.

A party needs 92 seats to form the government in Gujarat.

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