Gujrat : An estimated 68-69 per cent of 1.98 crore electors on Monday cast their votes in the second and final phase of Gujarat polls that would decide whether Chief Minister Narendra Modi would do a hat-trick for BJP or Congress return to power in the state after a gap of 22 years.
“An estimated 68 to 69 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the second phase of polling,” a source in the state election office told a news agency.
Like the first phase on December 13 when a record 70.75 per cent voters exercised their franchise, the final phase of balloting in 95 of state’s 182 seats too saw a huge voter turnout to decide the electoral fate of 822 candidates including Modi and Shankar Singh Vaghela, a former chief minister and one of the contenders for the top job if Congress returns to power.
Former minister of state for home, Amit Shah, accused in Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati encounter cases, Health Minister Jaynarayan Vyas and Revenue Minister Anandiben Patel are also among those in the fray.
While Modi, seeking a third straight win from Maninagar, is crossing sword with Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt, Jagruti Pandya, wife of slain BJP leader Haren Pandya of Gujarat Parivartan Party, is trying her luck from Ellis Bridge seat.
A Modi-baiter, Sanjeev Bhatt has accused Modi of complicity in post-Godhra communal riots, and is fighting legal battle against him.