68 pc voting in phase-1 of Gujarat polls: EC. Sixty eight per cent polling was recorded today in the first phase of polls in 89 Assembly seats in Gujarat where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress‘ soon-to-be president Rahul Gandhi are locked in a bitter, high-stakes political battle after a 22-year BJP reign. The final figure was likely to go up since people were still standing in queues outside polling centres after close of voting at 5 pm, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said in Delhi.Even as the polling passed off peacefully, opposition leaders raised apprehensions about electronic voting machine (EVM) tampering, a charge rejected by the EC. The BJP took pot-shots at the Congress saying that the party was looking for excuses. Sixty eight per cent of the 2.1 crore voters exercised their franchise, Sinha said. Responding to a series of questions on reports of EVM tampering, Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Jain said one complaint filed by a Congress candidate in Porbandar regarding his cell phone getting connected to an EVM through ‘bluetooth’ was found to be incorrect. The complaint was lodged by senior Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia. Jain said experts found that the cell phone was actually connected to the bluetooth of a polling agent’s mobile.The EVM has “no receptors” and cannot be connected to any other device except the control unit and the paper trail machine, he said, adding it has no bluetooth or USB (pen drive in common parlance) port. State Election Commission officials said there were reports of technical glitches in EVMs in Surat and some other centres, but the polling process resumed after the machines were replaced.They said 977 candidates were in the fray in the 89 seats of Saurashtra and South Gujarat, of which 63 were won by the BJP and 22 by the Congress in the 2012 Assembly polls. A total turn out of 71.32 per cent was recorded in the last election to the 182-member Assembly. Several important leaders, including Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, his opponent from Rajkot (West) seat Indranil Rajyaguru, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani were among the early voters.The second phase of polling in 93 seats will be held on December 14 while the counting of votes is scheduled on December 18.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook