Polling dull in Kutch, gathers pace in S'rashtra, South Guj

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Ahmedabad, Dec 11 (UNI) As polling for the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections got underway this morning, electors were seen flocking to the booths to cast their votes.

No untoward incident has been reported so far, from any of 58 constituencies in Saurashtra-Kutch and 29 in Surat, where balloting is on. No official figures of percentage of voting are available.

While polling began on a dull note in foggy Kutch, a number of people were seen trickling in at the polling booths in the early hours in Surat and Saurashtra.

It is expected to pick up pace as the day progresses. State Finance Minister Vajubhai Vala, who is contesting from Rajkot II constituency, was the first to cast his vote.

Several senior citizens were also seen standing in queues to exercise their franchise in Saurashtra.

''I came early to cast my vote, so that I can get on with my work in the later part of the day,'' said Shantaben, who had come to cast her vote at a booth in Morbi. ''We are enjoying the slight chill in the air too,'' she added.

The results of the first phase polling will be a decisive factor for the BJP, which has been facing major dissidence in these regions. Several dissident leaders are in the fray, prominent among them is Dhiru Gajera from Surat.

Former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel and Kanshiram Rana who have spearheaded the rebellion against Chief Minister Narendra Modi could impact the outcome in Saurashtra and Surat respectively.

UNI

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