Ahmedabad: Nearly 53 percent voting was recorded till 3 p.m. on Thursday in the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly polls for 87 out of 182 constituencies.
Polling began at 8 a.m. this morning amidst tight security. Till 11 a.m. the voter turnout was a moderate 18 percent, but in the following two hours, it increased to 38 percent.
The fate of 846 candidates will be decided in this phase, out of which 46 are women.
Prominent candidates in this phase include Keshubhai Patel, Assembly Speaker Ganpat Vasava, Gujarat BJP President RC Faldu, State Congress President Arjun Modhwadia and Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil.
Out of total 1,81,77,953 voters, there are 95,75,278 males, 86,02,557 females and 118 other voters.
For this phase, BJP has fielded candidates on all 87 seats going to the poll, whereas Congress is contesting on 84 seats.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polling. A total of 44, 579 polling stations have been set up. Moreover, it is for the first time that senior police officials from other states have been deployed by the Election Commission of India as police observers in all sensitive districts.
Polling will come to an end at 5 p.m.
The second phase of polling in Gujarat will take place on December 17. The counting of votes will take place on December 20.