68% vote in phase 1 of Gujarat polls, says panel

Sixty-eight per cent polling was recorded in the first phase of Gujarat polls, according to Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Unmesh Sinha.
Eighty-nine seats out of the total of 182 Assembly constituencies went to polls in the first phase with prominent candidates like Chief Minister Vijay Rupani (Rajkot West), Congress’ Shaktisinh Gohil (Mandvi) and Paresh Dhanani (Amreli) in the fray.
Total 977 including 58 female candidates were in the fray. While the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) fielded 89 candidates and Congress had 86 candidates apart besides 442 independent candidates.
In 2012 assembly elections, the first phase had registered 70.74 per cent voter turnout.
The election is being viewed as a prestige battle for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a litmus test for the leadership of soon-to-be Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
The second phase of polling in 93 seats will be held on December 14 while the counting of votes is scheduled on December 18.

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