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Posted on Dec 12, 07:54PM | IBNS
After high-octane canvassing which saw the Congress top leaders like Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hitting the campaign trail to take on the well-entrenched Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led the charismatic Narendra Modi government, Gujarat will go to the first phase of polls on Thursday(Dec 13).
Heavy security arrangements have been made ahead of the polls with 1.2 lakh personnel reportedly being deployed to keep watch on the balloting and law and order during the day.
The number of Assembly constituencies going for polling in Phase I is 87 spread over 44579 polling stations in 15 districts from Saurashtra and southern parts of the state. Gujarat has 182 assembly seats.
Of the total 3,80,77,454 voters in this phase, male voters accounts for 1,99,33,543 of the electorates while the female voters number 1,81,43,714.
At least 846 candidates are in the fray in this phase, including 46 female candidates.
Among the 846, the ruling BJP has 87 candidates for all the 87 seats, Congress has fielded 84 candidates while Gujarat Parivartan Party has 83 challengers.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded 79 candidates while there are 383 Independents. Other parties fielded 130 candidates.
The total number of Electronic Voting Machines to be used in this phase are 44579.
The largest assembly constituency (area wise) in this phase is Abdasa (6,278 sq.km. approx.) while the largest assembly constituency (Electorate wise) is Kamrej (3,04,621 voters).
The smallest assembly constituency (Electorate wise) is Karanj (1,44,161 voters).
Gujarat Police earlier held discussions with Rajasthan Police to coordinate on law and order since the two states share long border.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who would try to capture power for his third consecutive term and is leading in all surveys with predictions of two-third majority, would fight the polls himself in the second phase from Ahmedabad's Maninagar seat on Dec 17.