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GUJARAT BREAKS VOTING RECORD AFTER 52 YEARS VOTE FOR CHANGE OR CONTINUITY?

April 25, 2019 05:58 AM

COURTESY TOI APRIL 25

GUJARAT BREAKS VOTING RECORD AFTER 52 YEARS
VOTE FOR CHANGE OR CONTINUITY?
At 64.11%, Gujarat records highest ever voting since inception in 1960, breaking 1967 record of 63.77%; State had recorded 63.6% polling in 2014, at height of ‘Modi wave’; highest polling recorded in Valsad at 75.21%, lowest in Amreli at 55.75%
| Ahmedabad Mirror Bureau | amfeedback@timesgroup.in | TWEETS @ahmedabadmirror

The 17th Lok Sabha election in Gujarat on April 23 recorded highest ever 64.11% voting, breaking the record of 63.77% voting registered 52 years ago in 1967. Even at the height of “Narendra Modi wave” in 2014, the state had witnessed 63.6% polling. The Election Commission data released on Wednesday showed that over 4.51 crore voters exercised their franchise on Tuesday.

Experts, however, ruled out jumping to conclusion and decisively saying which party — BJP or Congress — stands to gain from it.


Valsad in South Gujarat recorded highest 75.21% polling while Amreli in Saurashtra, which is facing drinking water shortage and farmers’ unrest, saw lowest turnout at 55.75%.

Second highest turnout was registered in Bardoli with 73.57%, followed by Chhota Udepur (73.44%) and Bharuch (73.21%). All these areas, including Valsad, are dominated by tribals.

How experts interpret it

Talking to Mirror about the significance of turnout, political analyst Hemantkumar Shah said, “The record turnout does not indicate anything. It is wrong to assume that higher voting benefits the BJP. If voting in rural areas is higher than in urban areas, usually Congress benefits. This time tribal areas have witnessed higher voting and it may be an indicator of change.

Though we cannot say which political party will benefit by it.”

Retired professor of political science Dinesh Shukla said, “Traditionally Tribals, Dalits and Muslims have been committed voters of Congress. The percentage of voting this time shows that BJP will not get all the 26 seats as the voting pattern has changed compared to 2014. I can see Congress bagging 8 to 10 seats this time even though voting has broken the previous record.”

BJP, Congress claim victory

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, while speaking to journalists on Tuesday after voting came to an end, had said the high turnout will favour the BJP which will bag all the 26 seats. “The final voting figure may well cross the 2014 turnout, indicating a wave once again in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he had said. Former GPCC chief Bharat Solanki had said his party, which had drawn a blank in 2014, will do well this time. “The people of Gujarat have come out in large numbers to vote out the BJP,” he had said.

Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad

Gandhinagar, from where BJP president Amit Shah is contesting and where Prime Minister Narendra Modi cast his vote, recorded 65.57 per cent polling which was at par with turnout in 2014.

Ahmedabad East and Ahmedabad West constituencies saw dip in voting this time. Ahmedabad East registered 61.32 per cent compared to 61.59 per cent in 2014 while Ahmedabad West saw 60.37 per cent turnout this time compared to 62.93 per cent last time.

Women power

Compared to previous LS polls, 1.49 per cent more women cast their vote in 2019. The highest turnout of women voters was in Valsad (74.55%) while the lowest was in Porbandar (51.47%).

Lowest women turnout in 2014 was registered in Porbandar (45.91%) and highest in Valsad (73.02%). Interestingly, turnout of women in Porbandar was 51.47 per cent this time, an increase of 5.55 per cent over 2014.

This time, maximum number of women voted in Banaskantha

(59.84%) against overall voting of 64.69%. In 2014, only 51.63 per cent women had cast their vote here, 8.21 per cent less than in 2019.

This time, women voters’ turnout dipped in eight constituencies of Kutch, Mehsana, Ahmedabad West, Porbandar, Junagadh, Vadodara, Bharuch and Bardoli.

Lowest turnout

Lowest voter turnout was registered in 1996 LS polls with only 35.92 per cent of the electorate visiting polling booths. The second lowest turnout was in 1991 polls at 44.01 per cent.

Voting in Assembly segments

The turnout crossed 80 per cent in 5 Assembly constituencies dominated by tribals. Dediapada and Jagadiya that are part of Bharuch LS constituency, registered 85.01 per cent and 80.09 per cent votes respectively; Nizar Assembly constituency, part of Bardoli LS seat, registered 82.91 per cent voting; Dangs and Kaprada of Valsad LS seat registered 81.23 per cent and 83.16 per cent voting respectively. Dediapada, Nizar and Kaprada also registered highest women turnout at 84.12%, 81.55% and 81.29% respectively.

Rapar Assembly constituency of Kutch LS seat registered lowest voting at 47.37%, Kutiyana of Porbandar and Gadhada of Bhavnagar registered 49.56 per cent and 49.70 per cent voting respectively. Rapar, Kutiyana and Mahudha in Kheda registered low women voter turnout at 45.57 per cent, 43.75 per cent and 46.87 per cent respectively

 
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