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60.2% voter turnout in the first phase; Prime Minister Modi holds mega roadshow in Ahmedabad

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People lined up in a voting booth to vote. PTI

Nearly 60.20 percent voter turnout was recorded in the first phase of Gujarat Assembly polls on Thursday, India’s Election Commission announced.

Voting began at 8 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m.

788 candidates were in the running. Except for a few incidents, the poll was largely peaceful in the 89 seats from South Gujarat and Saurashtra-Kutch regions that went to the polls during this phase, PTI reported.

Residents protested in Dhrafa village, Jamjodhpur taluka, Jamnagar district, as there were no separate polling booths for men and women.

They threatened to boycott the vote, saying separate voting booths had always been set up in the past.

In Junagadh, a row broke out after police tried to arrest a Congress leader who was walking towards the polling station carrying a gas canister over his shoulder in protest against inflation. Such protest was also seen in many other places.

The EC tweeted the photo of Ramjibhai, 104, who it said ‘joined the democracy party by voting at the polling station instead of opting for a postal ballot’. At least 33 voting units, 29 control units and 69 VVPATs were replaced in the first three hours of voting at different polling stations due to malfunctions, the chief electoral officer’s office said in a statement.

“About 0.1% of voting units, 0.1% of control units and 0.3% of VVPATs were replaced within three hours of voting.

“Reserve machine sets are available in all districts with the area officer responsible for that area.

Prime Minister holds mega roadshow in Ahmedabad

Prime Minister Modi’s roadshow to the city of Ahmedabad, where polling will be held in the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections, kicked off from Naroda village on Thursday evening.

A large number of people standing on both sides of the road greeted Modi and greeted him with flowers during the roadshow. Standing on a specially designed vehicle, the Prime Minister waved to the crowd.

Harbhajan Singh participates in the AAP tour

On Thursday, cricketer-turned-politician Harbhajan Singh took part in the Aam Aadmi party tour with top leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann here ahead of the second phase of Gujarat Assembly elections.

He expected the same love in Gujarat that he received as a cricketer, said Singh, an MP from Rajya Sabha. He also urged people to remember December 8, the date of the election results, if they wanted free electricity.

With contributions from agencies

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