Voting commences in phase 1 of Gujarat assembly elections
The first phase of assembly elections has commenced in Gujarat with 89 constituencies of the state's southern districts and the Saurashtra region going to the polls. Over 2.11 crore people, including 1.01 crore women, will be voting to decide the fate of 977 candidates. The voting comes after a bitter personal campaign between the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress and the incumbent PM Narendra Modi-led BJP.
BJP has won the past five Gujarat state assembly elections
The BJP has won the past five state elections in Gujarat. Of these, the last three in 2002, 2007 and 2012 were under Modi's leadership. Modi has been campaigning aggressively in Gujarat for the past two weeks.
Modi calls for record turnout in Gujarat elections
Phase 1 of Gujarat polls begin. Urging all those voting today to turnout in record numbers and vote. I particularly call upon youngsters to exercise their franchise.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 9, 2017
100% deployment of VVPAT in Gujarat elections
The election marks the first time that the Election Commission (EC) will experiment with the deployment of voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines in all Gujarat polling booths. The system comprises verifying whether the votes were correctly cast by a voter for his/her desired candidate. The EC had earlier assured political parties that it would prevent any misuse of electronic voting machines (EVM).
Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani casts his vote
31% voter turnout recorded so far, some EVMs reportedly malfunctioned
As of 12 pm, a voter turnout of 31% has been recorded. The EC said it has received several complaints of malfunctioning EVMs and VVPATs in Surat and other centers. "Wherever there are complaints of EVM malfunctioning, it should be dealt with immediately," Congress leader Ahmed Patel said. The malfunctioning machines have either been replaced or rectified. Reportedly, all EVMs are now working correctly.
Omar Abdullah asks EC to address questions regarding EVMs "trustworthiness"
I hope the Election Commission can step up & address the questions that are being asked of it about the trustworthiness of voting machines.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) December 9, 2017
Sagrampura bridegroom says he'll vote first, then get married
A bridegroom from Sagrampura, Surat, who identified himself as Sheikh Mohammad Irfad, has said he will first vote in the elections and only then attend his wedding ceremony.