Gandhinagar: As the voting in the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly election is underway, the voter turnout inched closer to 50 per cent till 3 pm with a total turnout of 48.48 per cent. The voting began at 8 am in 89 constituencies spread across 19 districts of Kutch, Saurashtra and South Gujarat on Thursday and will continue till 5 pm. The voter turnout was 34.65 per cent till 1 pm.
According to the Election Commission data till 3 pm, Tapi recorded the highest voter turnout with 64.27 per cent voting while Narmada stood second with 63.88 per cent turnout. Dangs reported 58.55. The much-talked-about Morbi saw a turnout of 53.75 per cent while Jamnagar saw a 42.26 per cent.
Other districts where voting is underway are Amreli (44.62), Bharuch (52.45), Bhavnagar (45.91), Botad (43.67), Devbhumi Dwarka (46.55), Gir Somnath (50.89), Junagadh (46.03), Kachchh (45.45), Navsari (55.10), Porbandar (43.12), Rajkot (46.68), Surat (47.01), Surendranagar (48.60), and Valsad (53.49).
A total of 2,39,76,670 voters will cast their votes by 5 pm today and will decide the fate of 788 candidates who are in the fray for the first phase. Out of the total number of electorates, 1,24,33,362 are males, 1,1,5,42,811 females and 497 are from the third gender. Over 4 lakh PWD voters are eligible to cast their votes.
Nearly 9.8 lakh senior citizen voters (80+) and nearly 10,000 voters who are 100 and above are eligible to vote. According to the EC, there are 5,74,560 voters who are between 18 to 19 years of age while 4,945 voters are above 99 years of age. There are 163 NRI voters, of which 125 are men and 38 are women. 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 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.
AAP state president Gopal Italia is contesting from Katargam constituency, Gujarat Home Minister (State) Harsh Sanghavi from Majura, Rivaba Jadeja from Jamnagar North, former Gujarat minister Parshottam Solanki from Bhavnagar Rural, Kunwarji Bavaliya from Jasdan, Kantilal Amrutiya from Morbi and Jayesh Radadiya from Jetpur.
The second phase of the Gujarat election would be held on December 5. The counting of votes will be done on December 8. Results of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections will also be declared on the same day. (ANI)