Strong voter turnout in Gujarat local bodies poll

In what could be considered the semifinal to Gujarat Assembly election later this year, strong voter turnout marked polling for 81 municipalities, 31 district panchayats and 231 taluka panchayats in the state on Sunday.

Polling across six municipal corporations on February 21 this year had seen significantly lower voter presence.

Rural Gujarat came out in a big way to vote, and till early evening, 53.7% voting had been registered across municipalities, while district panchayats had recorded 60.44% polling and taluka panchayats 61.83%.

Dang district recorded the highest voter turnout at 71%, while the lowest was registered in Bharuch at 47%.

None of the six municipal corporations that had gone to polls earlier crossed 50% this time round.

Votes will be counted on March 2.

This election could have significant bearing on the political landscape of the state as opposition Congress has already suffered decimation in the municipal corporation election, especially in Surat, and failed to reach double digits across Vadodara, Rajkot and Bhavnagar.

Riding on the Patidar community’s disenchantment with Congress, Aam Aadmi Party bagged 27 seats in Surat and emerged as the opposition there, marking a clear entry into essentially bipolar Gujarat politics.

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