Gujarat election LIVE: PM Narendra Modi’s home state prepares to vote in first phase of prestige poll
Follow this live blog for all the latest updates from Phase One of the Gujarat Assembly election, as 89 constituencies in Narendra Modi’s home state go to the polls.
It’s the biggest Assembly election of the year. Voters in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state will head to polling booths in 89 constituencies and answer this simple question: Should the BJP, which has now governed the land of Sardar Patel for over two decades, be given another chance? Or should it make way for someone else, perhaps the party whose president-in-waiting bears the name of Gujarat’s most famous son?
Mahatma Gandhi’s birthplace – Porbandar – is one of the constituencies which will elect a new lawmaker today. In Rajkot West, voters will decide if the local MLA, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, will make it back to the Assembly. Somnath, the scene of a controversy involving Rahul Gandhi and a signature in a temple register, is another battleground in Phase One of the election.
The Congress scion, whose impending elevation as Congress president will cement his position as Narendra Modi’s primary political challenger, has campaigned feverishly in Gujarat. So has the prime minister himself. This election is a prestige poll for the BJP, but victory will not be easy for several reasons. For one, Patidar leader Hardik Patel, an influential figure in a community that accounts for 14 per cent of the Gujarat’s electorate (and has been reliable asset for the BJP till now), has allied with the Congress.
So, what will Gujarat choose? The action begins today. Stay on this live blog for all the latest updates from Phase One of the Gujarat Assembly election, and for links to resources that will help you better understand this fascinating electoral battle.
6:40 AM:KEY BATTLE | Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil will take on the BJP’s Virendrasinh Jadeja in Mandvi, a traditional BJP seat. Both are Rajputs. Many consider Gohil to the Congress party’s chief ministerial choice.
6:08 AM: Kachhh, Surendranagar, Morbi, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Devbhumi Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagadh, Amreli, Gir Somnath, Bhavnagar, Botad, Narmada, Bharuch, Surat, Tapi, Dangs, Navsari and Valsad: These are the districts that will go to the polls today.