The Gujarat Assembly elections saw a turnout of 68.41%, a little over 3.5% lower than 72.02% polling reported in the 2012 polls. An analysis of 20 seats, which had the highest number of candidates in fray reveals that the turnout in many such seats was lower by 5-6%, and even by more than 11% in one constituency.Botad seat, from where 25 candidates were in the fray, including former minister Saurabh Patel, saw the steepest fall in voter turnout among the 20 seats. From 79.26% in 2012, the Patidar-dominated seat saw turnout of 67.57% this time, a decline of over 11.5%. In Mehsana, which had 34 candidates in the fray, the highest among all 182 seats, the voter turnout was 69.99%, as against 75.56% in 2012, a sharp dip of more than 5.5%. Deputy chief minister Nitin Patel was pitted against Congress’s Jivabhai Patel from the seat.The Jamnagar Rural seat, from where BJP fielded Congress turncoat Raghavji Patel as its nominee, witnessed almost 7% drop in voting from 72.64% to 65.87%. The seat had as many as 27 contesting candidates.In the 2012 elections, 2.74 crore out of 3.80 crore voters or 72.02% had exercised their right to vote. In 2017, the number of voters rose to 4.35 crore, of whom, 2.98 crore or 68.41% voted. The difference in the voter turnout was 3.61%. Khambhalia seat in Saurashtra for instance saw a sharp fall of more than 8% in voting in this election as against the previous one.Two seats in rural Ahmedabad, viz. Viramgam and Sanand, were the only ones among the 20 which saw a higher turnout than in the 2012 elections. Incidentally, Congress had won both the seats in 2012. Viramgam seat, from where 22 candidates contested, saw 67.69% voting, about 1% higher than the previous elections. Congress turncoat Tejshree Patel was the BJP candidate from Viramgam this time.Similarly, Sanand constituency, from where 14 candidates contested, witnessed 75.42% polling as against 74.22% voting.Rural boostTwo seats in rural Ahmedabad, viz. Viramgam and Sanand, were the only ones among the 20 which saw a higher turnout than in the 2012 polls. Congress had won both the seats in 2012.
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