The second and final phase of polling for the Gujarat’s Assembly election was held in 93 constituencies across 14 districts on December 5. There were 833 candidates in the fray, mainly from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). As per the Election Commission the voter turnout recorded at 5 p.m. on polling was 58.38 per cent.
In a high-stakes Assembly election, this phase was closely watched as there were several key urban centres as well as tribal and OBC (Other Backward Classes) belts where close contests were expected between strong candidates.
The second phase was spread across the districts of Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Mehsana, Patan, Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Aravali, Mahisagar, Panchmahal, Dahod, Vadodara, Anand, Kheda and Chhota Udaipur.
Constituencies in the limelight were: Ghatlodia, where incumbent Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel is pitted against Amee Yagnik of the Congress and Vijay Patel of the AAP; Viramgam, where Patidar leader Hardik Patel is against Lakhbhai Bharwad, the Congress’ sitting MLA; Vadgam, where sitting independent MLA Jignesh Mevani is fighting on a Congress ticket against the BJP’s Manibhai Vaghela and the AAP’s Dalpat Bhatiya. Additionally, Gandhinagar, Deodar, Bechraji, and Jetpur could witness upsets.
A few hours after voting ended, exit polls projected a clean sweep for the BJP. Out of the 182 Assembly seats, an India Today-AxisMyIndia poll predicted 129-151 seats for the BJP, 16-30 for the Congress and 9-12 for the AAP. A Republic-PMARQ poll said the BJP would win 128-148 seats, the Congress 3-42 and the AAP 2-10, while a TimesNow-ETG prediction gave the BJP 138, the Congress 30, and the AAP 3.
The pollsters also said the BJP will retain power with an average of 46 per cent vote share, while the AAP will win about 24 per cent and the Congress just behind at 23 per cent.
The first phase of the election for 89 Assembly constituencies was held on December 1. Results for both phases will be declared on December 8.