Gujarat polls 1st phase as it happened: Amit Shah says record turnout symbolises voters' belief in Narendra Modi

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Gujarat polls 1st phase as it happened: Amit Shah says record turnout symbolises voters' belief in Narendra Modi
  • 21:05 (IST)

    Narendra Modi faces test in home state as Gujarat votes

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat went to the polls on Saturday, in a key electoral test of his popularity after a series of controversial economic reforms.

    Voters, with their election cards in hand, started lining up at polling booths early in the morning in Gujarat where Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has held power for 22 years.

    Modi built his reputation as an economic reformer in Gujarat which boomed under his rule, attracting investments from around the globe. But his recent reformsa new national tax and a shock currency ban to fight grafthave hit India's growth and hurt the very constituency of traders and small business owners who were his biggest supporters in the western state, polls found.

    Experts say this election is a serious challenge to Modi as his rivals ride a wave of discontent over the stuttering economy, adding that voter anger over the reforms and a desire for change could boost the flagging fortunes of the Opposition Congress.


  • 20:53 (IST)

    Never heard of Salman Nizami, says Congress

    The Congress on Saturday said that Salman Nizami, who Prime Minister Narendra Modi cited to attack it, does not hold any position in the party, while hitting out at the prime minister for moving away from "real issues".

    Congress leader Rajeev Shukla told reporters that Salman Nizami doesn't hold any position in the party.

    "We have not even heard the name Salman Nizami. He holds no post in the party, we don't know who he is. Maybe they (BJP) got a name from somewhere. If we start speaking like this, we can name anyone and call the person a BJP worker," he said.

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  • 20:24 (IST)

    AAP hits outs at BJP after voters from Gajadi village boycott election

  • 19:59 (IST)

  • 19:52 (IST)

    To protest water woes, village in Gujarat boycotts election
    Zero voting was recorded at Gajadi village in Morbi district of Gujarat on Saturday as the locals, fed up with water shortage, boycotted polling.
    While long lines were seen outside polling booths in Saurashtra and South Gujarat in the first phase of Assembly polls, none among the 1,000 registered voters in Gajadi turned up to cast vote, officials said. The village, though situated in Tankara tehsil of Morbi, comes under Kalavad constituency of Jamnagar district.
    The district administration said they tried their best to persuade villagers to vote. "Villagers had announced a few months ago that they will refrain from voting. Their main grievance was about water supply. Though the village is being supplied water through a pipeline, they claimed it was not enough and demanded another pipeline," said Morbi Collector and District Election Officer IK Patel.

  • 19:35 (IST)

    In Mehsana's Vijapur, Rahul Gandhi promises free medical facilities if Congress comes to power

  • 19:30 (IST)

    Amit Shah lauds people of Gujarat over 'record turnout'

    On Twitter, BJP chief Amit Shah wrote: "In the first phase of election, the people of Gujarat, who have participated in this great episode of democracy, are venerable. This record voting symbolises the belief in Modi's Gujarat model in the mind of every person in Gujarat. The BJP is heading towards historic conquest in Gujarat."

  • 19:05 (IST)

    Election Commission says EVMs can't be tampered with via Bluetooth 

  • 19:02 (IST)

    Average voter turnout in 19 districts till 4 pm

  • 18:53 (IST)

    Election Commission says 68% voter turnout recorded

    At the media briefing, the Election Commission said that 68 percent voter turnout has been recorded during the first phase and it is expected to exceed 70 percent. "Exact voting percentage will be known soon," the Election Commission said.

  • 18:29 (IST)

    Arun Jaitley rejects Congress' claim of EVM 'tampering' via Bluetooth

  • 18:25 (IST)

  • 18:22 (IST)

  • 18:16 (IST)

    Arun Jaitley exudes confidence in BJP as polling ends for first phase

    Jaitley said that he is sure that BJP will have "landslide victory" in Gujarat. "The BJP will get to serve the people of Gujarat again for the next five years," the finance minister said.

  • 18:05 (IST)

    Over 70% voting in Gujarat first phase, many still to vote

    Over 70 percent voting was registered in Gujarat at close of polling at 5 pm in the first phase, though there were still long queues lined up to vote at most polling stations, Chief Electoral Officer BB Swain said on Saturday.


  • 17:59 (IST)

    Narendra Modi tweets pictures from his Mehsana rally

  • 17:52 (IST)

  • 17:48 (IST)

    Watch: Amit Shah addresses public meeting in Matar

  • 17:42 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi campaigns in Mehsana's Vadnagar

  • 17:41 (IST)

    Chairman of Lok Adalat in Rajsamadhiyala says voters given time slots to maintain discipline

    Lok Adalat's Hardev Singh Jadeja told Firstpost that Rajsamadhiyala village has adopted a "scientific method" to handle polling. "We have allotted people time slots have discipline during voting process," he said.

  • 17:30 (IST)

    BJP should win in every booth, Narendra Modi tells voters in Mehsana

    Taking a dig at Congress for losing election in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and other states, Modi urged the voter in Gujarat to not vote for the Grand Old Party. "Congress should not win even one seat in the state Assembly. BJP should win in every booth," he said.

  • 17:18 (IST)

    I fight courageously with blessings of 'janata janardan': Narendra Modi

  • 17:11 (IST)

  • 17:10 (IST)

    Narendra Modi lauds BJP govt's efforts to solve water crisis in Gujarat

    "We brought the Sujalam-Sufalam scheme. We got rid of the thirst of Gujarat. The water level in the ground is what we call development," Modi said at a rally in Mehsana on Saturday.

  • 17:07 (IST)

    Rajkot voter says his brother took permission from panchayat as he is hospitalised

    Jagdishbhai Kakadiya from Rajsamadiyala village of Rajkot, where voting is compulsory spoke to Firstpost. He said: "Mere bhai ka accident ho gaya hai, Isliye usne panchayat se permission le liya hai. Hospital me hai, vote nahi karega. Lekin mai khud pahucha hu vote karne. (My brother met with an accident. He took permission from the panchayat since he can't vote from the hospital. But I am here to vote)"

  • 16:59 (IST)

  • 16:58 (IST)

    Narendra Modi slams Congress

    Criticising the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra said that Congress has set a record of spreading lies. At a rally in Mehsana, Modi said: "You have destroyed the country. Four generations (of Gandhi family) had made the situation poor in India."

  • 16:45 (IST)

    Visuals from Modi's rally in Mehsana

  • 16:37 (IST)

    Watch: Narendra Modi addresses rally in Mehsana

  • 16:29 (IST)

    Keshubhai Patel, Vaju Vala cast their vote

  • 16:26 (IST)

    Congress complains of EVM 'tampering' via Bluetooth in Porbandar booths

    Senior Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia on Saturday complained of possible EVM tampering at three polling booths in a Muslim-dominated area of Porbandar claiming that some machines were found to be connecting to external devices via Bluetooth.

    The Election Commission said that based on the Congress leader's complaint, an inquiry had been initiated.

    "We detected that the EVMs at three polling booths at Memanwada, a Muslim-dominated area, are connected to external devices through Bluetooth. When the Bluetooth of a mobile phone is turned on, a device named 'ECO 105' is shown as available," Modhwadia, the Congress candidate from Porbandar, said.

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  • 16:23 (IST)

    Visuals of selfie booth in Bhavnagar 

  • 16:22 (IST)

    EC replaced 1.9% of 24,689 VVPATs during first phase

  • 16:18 (IST)

    Bhavnagar deputy election officer denies reports on faulty EVMs

  • 15:52 (IST)

  • 15:44 (IST)

  • 15:31 (IST)

    Voters complain of EVM, VVPAT glitches across state; 40.47% turnout till 2pm

    As of 2 pm on Saturday, Gujarat recorded 40.47 percent voting as in the first phase of the state Assembly election amid reports of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and VVPAT glitches.

    Earlier on Saturday, there were reports of technical glitches in EVMs in some of the polling booths in Surat and other areas.

    The poll panel received several complaints of EVM malfunctioning in Kosamba region of Valsad district as well. An EVM was also tampered with in Rajkot East constituency, a complaint to the EC said.

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  • 15:28 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at Narendra Modi over state of education in Gujarat

  • Voter turnout in Surat till 3 pm

    Here is the list of voting percentages in Surat till 3 pm:

    Mangrol- 45%

    Olpad- 44%

    Surat East- 43%

    Katargam- 43%

    Limbayat- 44%

    Mahua- 45%

    Vagra- 44%

    Bardoli- 45%

    Choryasi- 45%

    Kamrej- 44%

    Karanj-  43%

    Mandvi- 44%

    Majura- 45%

  • 15:18 (IST)

    Watch: EVM engineer talks to media after complaints of EVM being connected via bluetooth

  • 14:53 (IST)

    Despite good medical infrastructure, Dang district remains unhealthy

    As much as 75% of Dang’s population lives under the poverty line of Rs 356 per person a month in villages and Rs 538 per person in cities, and the district struggles to succeed under Gujarat’s development model. In this primarily tribal district–98% belong to the scheduled tribes–48.1% of children under five years were stunted, 72.2% of women were anaemic and only 44.3% of children under two were fully immunised, according to the latest National Family Health Survey of 2015-16 (NFHS-4), even as the district has made investments in health infrastructure.

    And it is not just Dang. Gujarat, ranked fifth by per capita income in the country, is ranked 17 among 29 states on infant mortality, with 34 of every 1,000 infants dying every year, worse than much poorer Meghalaya (30), and lower than India’s average infant mortality rate (IMR: deaths per 1,000 births) of 41, as IndiaSpendreported in November 2017.

    Click here to read the full Indiaspend report.

  • 14:46 (IST)

    EC team reaches polling booth in Porbandar after complaints of EVMs being connected to bluetooth

  • 14:40 (IST)

    Salman Nizami hits back at Modi, says 'PM embraces Sajjad Lone'

  • 14:33 (IST)

    People of Gajdi village boycott polls due to lack of basic amenities: CNN-News18

  • 14:30 (IST)

  • 14:28 (IST)

    Here's a unique (and hilarious) take on the controversy surrounding Mani Shankar Aiyar

  • 14:26 (IST)

    Voter praises Narendra Modi, says security for women in Surat has increased

  • 14:16 (IST)

  • 14:12 (IST)

    Narendra Modi avoided topic of corruption in Gujarat polls because of Jay Shah: Rahul Gandhi

    "Narendra Modi has not talked about the issue of corruption even once in the Gujarat polls," said Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat, adding that it was because of Jay Shah that the prime minister avoided the topic of corruption.

    "Honesty has surrounded Narendra Modi," said the Congress vice-president. "When Narendra Modi talked yesterday, he was talking about himself 60 percent of the time."

  • 14:09 (IST)

    Congress has made it a habit to say EVMs malfunctioned every time they face defeat: Jitendra Singh

Gujarat is all set for Saturday's first phase of Assembly elections in which 977 candidates will battle it out to get elected from 89 of the 182 constituencies, with the ruling BJP facing a strong Congress challenge.

The 89 constituencies are spread out in the 19 districts of Kutch, Saurashtra and southern regions. High-pitched campaigning, involving among others Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ended on Thursday evening.

 Gujarat polls 1st phase as it happened: Amit Shah says record turnout symbolises voters belief in Narendra Modi

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi (left) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

A total of 977 candidates are in the fray from Kutch, Morbi, Jamnagar, Surendranagar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Rajkot, Botad, Porbandar, Junagadh, Amreli, Gir Somnath, Bhavnagar, Bharuch, Narmada, Surat, Tapi, Navsari, Dang and Valsad districts.

Of the 89 seats, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party holds 67 and the Congress 16. One seat each is held by the NCP and JD-U while independents hold the remaining two.

The most striking battle on Saturday will be in Rajkot West, presently held by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. He is being challenged by Congress candidate Indraneel Rajyaguru, the outgoing MLA from Rajkot East.

Another outgoing Congress MLA, Paresh Dhanani, from Amreli is challenged by a former Congress leader and now BJP MLA — in Lathi constituency.

The Saurashtra region will see some more high profile battles involving cabinet minister Babubhai Bokhiria, Arjun Modhwadia of Congress and former finance and power minister Saurabh Patel.

The Congress has tried to woo the voters with a manifesto. The BJP released a 'Sankalp Patra' or 'Resolution Letter' on Friday.

The polling on Saturday will begin at 8 am and end at 5 pm. There are a total of 24,689 polling booths. Of the 2,12,31,652 voters, 1,11,05,933 are males and 1,01,25,472 females while 247 are from the third gender.

There are eight seats with more than 16 candidates. The maximum of 27 are in Jamnagar Rural seat. There are just three candidates each in Jhagadia and Ganadevi constituencies, both Scheduled Tribe seats.

Wherever there are more than 16 candidates, two ballot units will be put up.

On the seventh and last day of campaigning on Thursday, Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, Rupani and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addressed several public meetings. The main face of the Congress campaign has been Rahul Gandhi.

The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), which has been agitating against the BJP government for more than two years, has been asking people not to vote for the saffron party, a subtle message to vote for the Opposition.

Click here for detailed coverage of Gujarat Assembly Election 2017

Updated Date: Dec 09, 2017 21:09:46 IST