The second phase of Gujarat elections recorded 69.99 per cent voter turnout, officials said on Friday, a day after 93 seats in north and central Gujarat went to polls. At the close of polling, election authorities had estimated the turnout at 68.70%, which was revised to 69.99% after the exact numbers were compiled.The voter turnout in the second phase of elections was sharply higher than in the first phase, which had seen 66.75% polling.”The overall turnout in both phases of Gujarat Assembly elections is 68.41 per cent. Of 4.35 crore registered voters, 2.98 crore voters exercised their right to vote,” State’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) BB Swain, said.In spite of the sharp rise in voting in the second phase of polling, overall turnout in the current election was over 3.5 per cent lower than the 72.02 per cent turnout in 2012 elections. Even as exit polls are projecting a huge win for the ruling BJP, and placing Congress a distant second, the lower turnout could be attributed to absence of a clear wave.An analysis of the voter turnout statistics released by the CEO’s office reveals that of 2.23 crore registered voters in the second phase, a little over 1.56 crore voters exercised their right to vote. The male turnout was 72.05%, and female turnout was 67.77 per cent. About 45 per cent of the 455 third genders cast their votes.Eight of 14 districts that went to polls on Thursday recorded more than 70 per cent polling. The highest voter turnout was in Banaskantha where 75.25 pe cent voters exercised their right. It was followed by Sabarkantha (74.97 per cent turnout), Vadodara (72.08 per cent), Mehsana (71.69 per cent) and Anand (71.50 per cent).Ahmedabad, which comprises 21 Assembly seats in all, recorded 66.28 per cent voter turnout. Of 52.75 lakh registered voters, 34.96 lakh cast their votes.Contrary to the trend seen in the first phase, as well as in the past elections, where tribal dominated districts accounted for the highest turnout, such districts witnessed among the lowest turnouts in the second phase.The lowest turnout was recorded in Mahisagar where only 65.45 per cent voters turned up to vote. It was followed by Dahod district, which recorded 66.20 per cent polling.TurnoutPhase 1: 65.75Female turnout: 64.30%Phase 2: 69.99Female turnout: 67.77Voters: 4,35,28,519Votes: 2,97,76,913Male turnout: 70.54%Female turnout: 66.09%Phase 2Highest TurnoutDistrict Turnout (%)Banaskantha 75.25Sabarkantha 74.97Vadodara 72.08Mehsana 71.69Anand 71.50Lowest TurnoutDistrict Turnout (%)Mahisagar 65.45Dahod 66.20Ahmedabad 66.28Patan 68.82Aravalli 69.19(Source: Gujarat CEO)
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As the second and final phase in Gujarat assembly polls ended on Thursday, as many as 1517 Electronic Voting Machines and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail units were replaced, following complaints and technical glitches. Votes were cast in Banaskantha, Patan, Sabarkantha, Mehsana, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Aravalli, Mahisagar, Panchmahal, Dahod, Kheda, Anand, Vadodara and Chhota Udepur districts from 8 am to 5 pm.Out of total 27561 ballot units (EVMs) deployed, 369 were reported with glitches. As many as 322 out of 25,575 control units and 826 VVPATs out of 25,575 units were found having glitches and were replaced by the Election Commission. The Commission kept in reserve 5,204 BUs, 4,252 CUs and 6,928 VVPATs,to be used in case complaints were received. Although there were several complaints alleging EVMs being manipulated through BlueTooth in Mehsana, Ghatlodia, Vadgam and Dhokla, technical teams found there was no truth in the allegations.
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<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who has visited Gujarat seven times since August, will begin yet another visit to the state on Friday.Gandhi, who is set to take over as Congress president before the elections, is slated to visit Kirti Mandir, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi in Porbandar, before addressing a public meeting of fishermen in the coastal city.His next stop will be at Dalit Shakti Kendra in Nani Devti village of Sanand, where he will accept a national flag measuring 125 feet by 83.3 feet, and weighing 240 kg. The flag has been prepared by 150 Dalits from ten states and is the largest of its kind.In the evening, the Congress leader is scheduled to have an interaction with representatives from the public health sector at Thakorbhai Desai Hall, which will be followed by an interaction with teaching community at Viratnagar. “Rahul ji will also address a public meeting at Nikol,” a party functionary said. Gandhi is slated to visit Gandhinagar, Aravalli, Mahisagar and Dahod districts on the second day of his visit. He would be welcomed at Dehgam in Gandhinagar, followed by a corner meeting in Bayad, Aravalli. He is slated to address a corner meeting at Lunavada in Mahisagar, and a corner meeting in Santrampur after that.The Congress leader will be welcomed at Fatepura in Dahod, followed by a corner meeting in Jhalod, and a public meeting in Dahod, his last public engagement of the day. Gandhi visited flood-hit north Gujarat in August, followed by a visit to Ahmedabad. He campaigned in Saurashtra for four days, and three days each in central, south and north Gujarat after that, and also visited Surat for a day on the first anniversary of demonetisation. The Congress feels that his visits have generated a lot of traction for the party, which would help it in the elections.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Polls or no polls, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has a task cut out for its Gujarat unit with exact targets. In 2025, when the saffron organisation will complete 100 years, it wants to complete its target of changing the tribal landscape in eastern Gujarat by establishing 5,000 Ekal Vidyalayas. It has established 1,100 so far.”We believe in Gita. Karmanye Vadhikaraste Maphaleshu Kadachana, our work is to do the job on the ground and not be worried about its outcome. If the work is good, the results will come automatically,” says Vasanbhai Gamit, the sanhchalak of Tapi district. He is also the adhyaksh or chairman of the Ekal Abhigyan.To reach this mammoth target, the organisation is right now working in south Gujarat where it has spread out a complex hierarchical set-up by dividing the region in six anchals — Dangs, Tapi, Sagpada, Bharuch, Mahisagar and Dahod.”Each anchal has 9 sanch (zones) and in each sanch there are 30 villages. There should be an Ekal Vidyalaya in each village. We are working towards it,” says Gamit, a tribal of Gumasta village in Okai, Sonepada.Each village has an Ekal committee headed by an Acharya trained by the RSS who looks after education, agriculture, health, implementation of government schemes and Harikatha.In a class that takes place for two hours before regular school, the children are taught about Hindu Sanskriti, great India heroes and how the tribals are actually the real Sanatanis as they worship nature, centric to Hindu religion.Besides, under the Dharma Jagran Samiti, there are 70 Vyas Kathakars, especially trained in Ayodhya over nine months, who hold Ramkatha in various villages and tell why Ramrajya is needed and how to establish it.They are also tasked to hold 25 Sunderkand Paath every month and Akhanda Ramayana Paath for minimum 10 days a month across 30 villages.Gamit hopes the efforts will bear fruit one day and the BJP will be able to win all seats in the tribal belt.”It is not easy right now. The Christian Bishops come from Delhi five days before the elections, call all pastors and give their fatwa to vote for Congress,” says Gamit.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of the meteorological department’s forecast of heavy rains, the government today warned of an increase in water levels of several rivers in the next three days. “Due to this, river Chambal and its tributaries, Mahi, Sabarmati, Banas (West Flowing River) are likely to receive significant water flows in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat,” a government statement said. It said there is likelihood of heavy rain in Kutch area of Gujarat and in Morvi, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar districts of Saurashtra and Kutch. “Since most of the dams in these areas such as Machchhu-I and II, Und etc. are very near their full levels, very strict vigil may please be maintained for the safety of the structure as well as downstream areas in association with the rainfall likely to occur during the next three days,” it said. The government said River Banas and its tributaries are likely to rise rapidly in the districts of Udaipur and Sirohi in Rajasthan and in Banaskanta district of Gujarat. It said Dantiwada dam on river Banas in Banaskanta district has storage of only 17 per cent as on July 21, which will significantly rise due to rains in the next three days. “River Sabarmati and its tributaries in districts of Udaipur, Sirohi, Pali and Dungarpur in Rajasthan, Sabarkantha, Mehsana, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and Kheda districts of Gujarat are likely to observe rapid rise in water levels,” it said. It said river Mahi and its tributaries in districts of Jhabua, Dhar, Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh, Udaipur, Dungarpur and Banswara districts in Rajasthan and Panchmahal, Mahisagar and Kheda districts of Gujarat are likely to observe rapid rise in water levels. The government also issued an advisory for dams in various states. It said Som Kamla Amba Dam in Dungarpur district and Kadana Dam in Mahisagar district of Gujarat have a chance of getting very close to their full levels. “Sufficient care may please be taken while releasing water ensuring the safety of downstream reaches taking into consideration the rainfall and other hydrological characteristics,” it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)