Gujarat Records an average of 60% voter turnout, Valsad and Banaskantha takes the lead

Future of about 266 candidates including four union ministers were sealed in the EVMs contesting on the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat and five assembly seats


AHMEDABAD, GUJARAT : As the third phase of Lok Sabha elections unfolded in Gujarat, the state is likely to witness an average of 60% voters turnout with the final tally of figures to be announced by the Election Commission by late night. However, the future of about 266 candidates including four union ministers were sealed in the EVMs contesting on the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat and five assembly seats witnessed a voter turnout of 55.22% by 5 PM, with various constituencies showcasing diverse patterns of voter participation.

Notably, Valsad Lok Sabha constituency in South Gujarat recorded the highest voter turnout at 68.12%, followed closely by Banaskantha at 64.48%, where the increased voter presence sprung a surprise for the BJP.

Around 60 officials monitored more than 50,000 polling booths across 25 Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat from a central command centre.

Chief Election Officer (CEO) Gujarat, P Bharathi stated that 55.22% voting has recorded in Gujarat till 5 pm. The official figure of polling will be announced by 12 midnight. She stated that the Election Commission received more than 5,000 complaints. Thus, polling has been completed peacefully in the state. Further, the Chief Election Commissioner said that as many as 11 complaints of EVM malfunction were received in the state.

In Banaskantha, Congress candidate Geniben Thakor garnered attention as she visited polling booths, rallying support from voters and highlighting the keenly contested nature of the seat. Conversely, Amreli Lok Sabha constituency in Saurashtra reported the lowest voter turnout at 45.59%, with Porbandar, contested by Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, following closely at 46.51%.

Dissatisfied with the governance, four villages witness 0% voter turnout in Gujarat. The villages include Bhakhri in Banaskantha, Rabari (Jesar) in Bhavnagar, Sandhar in Surat’s Mangrol, and Arjanvav in Bayad in Arvalli.

Rajkot Lok Sabha seat, amidst heightened attention due to ongoing Kshatriya agitation against Union Minister Parshottam Rupala, recorded 54.29% voting by 5 PM. Rupala, along with supporters, actively appealed to voters to increase participation, reflecting the competitive nature of the electoral landscape.

The Kshatriya Coordination Committee, which is spearheading Kshatriya agitation against Parshottam Rupala, stated that the lukewarm voting percentage in Saurashtra is not a good sign for the ruling BJP. The BJP may lose 7 Lok Sabha seats and face a fierce contest on 4 Lok Sabha seats.

Karansinh Chavda, Kshatriya leader said, “In the Kshatriya dominated seats, the voting percentage was higher by almost 80%. Not only the Kshatriyas, other communities including Koli Patels and Leuva Patels are upset with the BJP. This will reflect in the overall result on June 4”

BJP loses 7 seats as Kshatriyas and other communities are oppressed. 4 seats are contested. According to the Rajput Coordination Committee, BJP loses 7 seats and there will be a fierce contest on 4 seats. In the remaining seats, not more than 5 lakh but less lead will come. Organizations and people of Rajput society got cooperation.

Despite soaring temperatures ranging between 41 to 43 degrees Celsius, political parties in Ahmedabad and Saurashtra resorted to loudspeaker announcements outside residential societies to encourage voter turnout.

Significantly, Scheduled Tribe (ST) Lok Sabha seats like Panchmahal, Dahod, Chhota Udepur, Bharuch, and Bardoli witnessed turnout ranging from 55.31% to 63%. Bharuch, witnessing a contest between AAP’s Chaitar Vasava and BJP’s Mansukh Vasava, reported 63.56% voter turnout.

However, instances of electoral malpractice also surfaced, with a BJP worker caught making a video of the ballot unit and VVPAT unit at a booth in Veraval. Additionally, allegations of BJP agents carrying pens marked with the lotus symbol post-voting were leveled by Gujarat Congress State President Shaktisinh Gohil, prompting calls for action from the Election Commission.

In a heartening display of democracy’s essence, Una assembly constituency’s Banej Booth No. 3 witnessed 100% voting as the sole registered voter, Mahant Haridasbapu of Banej temple, exercised his franchise.

Technical glitches also momentarily disrupted polling, as seen in Rajpipla’s Chhatravilas polling booth, where the control unit malfunctioned, prompting swift resolution by technical staff.

Officials shared that the malfunction in EVMs was first noticed in Ward No. 2 and Ward No. 13 polling booths in Navsari, where voters had queued up early in the morning to cast their votes.

This delay has led to long queues and inconvenience for voters. Election officials and technicians are on-site to resolve the EVM glitches promptly and ensure that voting resumes without further interruptions.

Lastly, in Navsari Lok Sabha constituency, Gujarat BJP President CR Paatil’s bid for re-election saw party workers visiting residential areas, drumming ‘thalis’ to rally voters to polling booths, emphasizing the grassroots mobilization efforts underway amidst the electoral process.