Despite soaring heat, good turnout in Gujarat
Brisk polling was recorded in most parts of Gujarat Wednesday despite soaring temperatures, as electors trooped out to exercise their franchise.
According to election officials, the state notched up a healthy 22 percent polling by 11 a.m.
Vadodara, from where Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is contesting, recorded a whopping 32 percent in the first four hours of balloting.
Ahmedabad, the smallest constituency in terms of electorate with a large minority population, touched barely 15 percent, followed by Kachchh, the sparse and largest constituency in terms of area, at 17 percent.
Mehsana recorded 30 percent, Chhota Udepur 30, Valsad 26, Navsari 24, Bhavnagar 23, Porbandar 16, Dahod 22, Anand 27, Ahmedabad East 17, Patan 17, Amreli 21, Khed 21, Sabarkantha 32, Bardoli 25, Jambusar 21, Surendranagar 21, Junagadh 28, Rajkot 24, Surat 26, Panchmahal 22.
A total of 334 candidates, among them many bigwigs, are in the fray, including 67 Muslims - one from the Congress, seven from the Samajwadi Party and the rest nominated by regional parties or contesting as Independents.
An electorate of around 4.05 crore is eligible to exercise its franchise at 45,380 polling stations across the state.
Among the prominent candidates besides Modi is senior BJP leader L.K. Advani from Gandhinagar, and Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal.
From the Congress, the big names are Shankarsinh Vaghela, Dinshaw Patel, Bharat M. Solanki and Tushar A. Chaudhary.
Modi cast his vote in Gandhinagar, and was seen taking a selfie of his inked finger after casting his ballot. He also flashed a paper lotus -- the BJP's poll symbol.
The BJP leader attacked the Congress, saying nothing can now save the "mother-son" government, taking a dig at Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi.
Modi said the election will ensure that the Congress is ousted, and a new and strong government comes to power.
"After analysing the election process and the voter's mind until now, I can say that this time nothing can save the 'mother-son' government... a strong government will come to power," he said after voting at the Ranip polling station in Gandhinagar.
(Posted on 30-04-2014)