Ahmedabad: Over 35 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 2 pm today during the polling on 89 seats of Saurashtra and south Gujarat regions in the first phase of the crucial Gujarat assembly polls.
As per the latest data released by the Election Commission, 35.52 per cent voters exercised their franchise between 8 am and 2 pm.
The voting will end at 5 pm.
Till noon, the highest turnout of 38.07 per cent was recorded in the tribal-dominated district of Tapi, while Narmada, another tribal-dominated district in south Gujarat, recorded the lowest turnout of 25.67 per cent.
Chief Electoral Officer for Gujarat B B Swain said that though voting would end at 5 pm, those standing in queue outside polling booths before the process ends, would be given a chance to cast their votes.
Though there were reports of technical glitches in EVMs in Surat and some other centres, the polling process resumed after the machines were replaced, officials of the Election Commission said.
Speaking about it, Swain said, “We have received complaints of faulty EVMs from some places and all such machines have been replaced with the spare ones kept at the polling stations.”
After the polling process began at 8 am, people could be seen stepping out of their houses despite the cold weather and queueing up to cast votes at polling stations.
Even some brides and grooms, clad in the marriage attires, came to polling booths along with their relatives to exercise their franchise before the wedding function.
Such voters were seen in Bharuch, Bhabvnagar, Gondal and Surat. A 115-year-old woman from Upleta town of Rajkot, Aajiben Chandravadia, also voted today.
While a majority of the candidates of major parties cast their votes by noon, people are still making a beeline at polling booths in large numbers.
Several important leaders and candidates, including Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, his opponent on Rajkot-West seat Indranil Rajyaguru, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party chief Jitu Vaghani and Congress MLA of Amreli seat Paresh Dhanani, among others, cast their votes.
Cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara also got his finger inked and cast his vote in Rajkot.