21% voter turnout in gujarat
About 21 per cent of the total 4.06 crore voters of Gujarat used their franchise till 1200 hrs even as BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's constituency Vadodara recorded over 40 per cent voting till this noon.
The single-phase polling for the general elections in the BJP-ruled state, which has 26 Lok Sabha seats, started at 0700 hrs on a peaceful note amid elaborate security arrangements.
State capital Gandhinagar also recorded 21 per cent voters turn out till noon. BJP veteran L K Advani is contesting from the seat. The polling will continue till 1800 hrs.
The election officials were expecting a record voting percentage in Vadodara as Mr Modi is contesting from there.
By-polls to seven Assembly seats are also taking place simultaneously with the general elections.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polling.
DGP P C Thakur told UNI that a total of 175 companies of para-military forces have been deployed across the state.
He said 1.10 lakh police personnel, members of Lok Rakshak Dal, Gram Rakshak Dal and Home Guard have also been deployed. Mr Thakur said focus was being given to sensitive areas.
Para-military personnel have been mainly deployed across the state at 45,380 polling booths.
Out of the total 45,380 polling booths in the state, 10,725 have been identified as 'critical'.
Out of total voters there were 2,12,10,291 male voters, 1,93,68,001 female voters and 285 others.
Mr Modi, Revenue Minister Anandiben Patel, Congress leaders Shankarsinh Vaghela, Madhusudan Mistry, Union Minister Dinsha Patel, former chief minister Mandhavsingh Solanki and state's Chief Election Officer Anita Karwal were among the early voters. Mr Advani cast his vote in Ahmedabad.
The people came in a large number to cast their votes at their respective polling booths across the states.
Huge crowd of voters was seen at polling booths in Ghatlodia, Ranip and other places in Ahmedabad.
The people were seen standing in queue even before the polling started at 0700 hrs.
No major untoward incident was reported from Ahmedabad or elsewhere in the state.
However, snag in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) delayed polling by ten to 15 minutes at some places in Ahmedabad like Jodhpur Gam and Ranip.
Snag in EVMs also delayed polling at three places in Vadodara.
EVM had to be changed in Visavdar in Saurashtra region of the state.
(Posted on 30-04-2014)