Voting begins for first phase of Gujarat polls
The voting for the first phase of the assembly elections in Gujarat began Thursday at 8 a.m., officials said.
Polling will end at 5 p.m.
Voters in 87 of the 182 constituencies of the state assembly will exercise their franchise at 44,579 polling stations.
As many as 17,029 of these stations have been declared as critical.
Of an estimated 38 million voters, 19.9 million are male and 18.1 million are female.
There are a total of 846 candidates in the fray, including 46 women.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is fielding candidates in all 87 seats, the Congress is fielding 84 candidates, Gujarat Parivartan Party 83, and the Bahujan Samaj Party 79. There are 383 Independents, while others are 130.
The largest constituency by area is Abdasa (6,278 sq km), while the largest constituency by population is Kamrej (304,621 voters).
Maninagar in Ahmedabad, where incumbent Chief Minister Narendra Modi squares off against suspended officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife, Shweta also goes to the polls in the first phase.
Fate of many state political big-wigs who are contesting elections like Keshubhai Patel, Assembly Speaker Ganpat Vasava, Gujarat BJP president R C Faldu, state Congress president Arjun Modhwadia and Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil will be decided today.