In Gujarat, the first round of assembly elections was held yesterday for 89 seats. One of the important areas that voted was Surat. The AAP has started a massive campaign as the BJP tries to win the state for a seventh time in a row.
The 19 districts of Saurashtra-Kutch and the southern portions of the state saw a moderate voter participation of 60.23 percent, with the voting being peaceful, according to officials. Less than 66.75 percent of eligible voters participated in the first round of the 2017 Assembly elections.
The voting process, which started at 8 am, was mainly calm, according to Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer P Bharathi, with the exception of a few incidents and complaints of technical problems in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) at few locations.
The first round of voting was concentrated in Surat, a significant industrial centre popularly known as Diamond City. Surat is a well-known BJP stronghold and was crucial to the party’s victory in the 2017 elections.
But this time, a fresh adversary has emerged. Party chief Arvind Kejriwal has stated that the Aam Aadmi Party hopes to win at least half of the district’s 16 segments after intense campaigning there.
The Morbi constituency, where a suspension bridge collapsed on October 30 and killed 135 people, will also be extensively scrutinised. The incident has drawn harsh criticism for the state government, which is run by the BJP. Massive oversights in the renovation and management of the bridge were discovered as a result of the investigation after the disaster, and the high court is now challenging the administration.
Former legislator Kantilal Amrutiya, who wasn’t originally on the party’s list of candidates but jumped in at the last minute after being spotted diving into the sea to save people when the bridge collapsed, has been nominated by the BJP. In the Congress, Jayantilal Patel is running.
Other prominent candidates in the first round include the former leader of the opposition in the Assembly, Paresh Dhanani, Isudan Gadhvi, and Rivaba Jadeja, the wife of cricketer Ravindra Jadeja (BJP).
Stopping the population decline is the fundamental task facing the BJP, which has controlled the state since 1995. Since 2002, the party’s score has decreased, going from 137 to 99 in the 2017 election.
Gujarat, the state of residence of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, is a major source of prestige for the BJP. The party has set a goal of obtaining 140 of the Assembly’s 182 seats. The PM has spoken at 20 rallies in the state thus far as the campaign’s face, and seven more are scheduled for the second phase.
Arvind Kejriwal has overseen a comprehensive campaign for the AAP as the group strives to increase its national presence after sweeping to victory in Punjab this year. According to Mr. Kejriwal, the party, which did not register in the 2017 elections, would gain 92 seats this time.