Patna: With early trends show a considerable lead for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the crucial Gujarat assembly elections 2017, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, on Monday, rubbished suggestions that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) have been compromised.
The JD(U) leader said EVMs have helped to make elections “transparent and impartial” and those criticising them were doing so out of the fear of defeat.
The Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party, and Patidar leader Hardik Patel have expressed apprehension that the EVMs may have been tampered with in Gujarat where the BJP has been in power for 22 years and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had served as the Chief Minister for over a decade.
The counting of votes is being held at 37 centres across the state’s 33 districts, amidst tight security.
For the 182 seats up for grabs, a total of 1,828 candidates contested the elections which were held in two phases on December 9 and 14.
The voting was held following an acrimonious campaign where both the main political parties indulged in no-holds-barred attacks on each other.
The main contestants from the BJP are Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani (Rajkot West), Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel (Mehsana) and state BJP unit president Jitu Vaghani (Bhavnagar West).
The main contenders from the Congress are Shaktisinh Gohil (Mandvi), Arjun Modhvadia (Porbandar), Siddharth Patel (Dabhoi), and Paresh Dhanai (Amreli).
OBC leader Alpesh Thakor, who joined the Congress ahead of polls is fighting from Radhanpur seat, while Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani is contesting from Vadgam.
An average 68.41 percent polling was recorded in the polls.
The total voter turnout this time saw a dip of 2.91 percent, as compared to the 2012 polls when 71.32 per cent polling was registered.
In the 2012 polls, the BJP had won 115 seats and the Congress 61 seats, while others and independents had bagged six seats.