75% turnout in Gujarat nagarpalika elections

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The elections for 74 nagarpalikas, excluding one being declared uncontested, passed off peacefully on Sunday with an estimated turnout of 75 per cent, according to State Election Commissioner (in-charge) Prakash Shah. Counting will be held on February 12.

According to initial estimates, the turnout in nagarpalikas of Ahmedabad district was 65 per cent, while in Gandhinagar district, it was 75 per cent.

"The election turnout was about 75 per cent but a re-polling will take place in ward number one Jetpur-Navagadh nagarpalika seat on Monday because name of one candidate was misprinted as Gohil instead of Waghela on the ballot," Shah said.

As many as 17,02,607 voters cast their votes for 1,843 seats of 622 wards in 74 nagarpalikas.

Congress candidate Babubhai Mansuri in ward number six of the Prantij nagarpalika (Sabarkantha) died of heart attack in the early afternoon on Sunday. "There will be no re-polling in this case," he added.

About an alleged attack on a candidate in Pardi nagarpallika by city BJP president Kamlesh Patel, Shah said, "We are getting details but as such this was not a case that should affect the election process." According to reports, Patel was booked on the charge of attacking the candidate.

"My wife is contesting the election which the rivals didn't like. They abused her and maligned me," Patel said. He was later released on bail.

The final turnout in Chansama was 82.12 per cent, in Harij it was 81.82 per cent and in Radhanpur it was 74.33 per cent, according to Patan District Collecto J G Hingrajia.

Meanwhile, Banaskantha district Congress president Dalsangbhai Patel and executive committee chairman Mavjibhai Dhukh joined the BJP ahead of the district panchayat elections.

The two represent the Chaudhry and Thakur communities respectively. "We are unhappy with party leadership over ticket distribution," they said.

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