New Delhi: Voting for 81 municipalities, 31 district panchayats and 231 taluka panchayats in Gujarat began on Sunday (February 28) morning. According to the State Election Commission, the counting of votes for the civic polls will be done on March 2.
The SEC has said voting for 8,473 seats, comprising 2,720 in 680 wards in municipalities, 980 in district panchayats and 4,773 in taluka panchayats, will be held across 36,008 booths.
Some 3.04 crore people in the state are eligible to vote for these polls, and over 44,000 police personnel, including state reserve police units, 12, CAPF companies and 54,000 homeguards, will be in place to ensure incident-free voting, they added.
While the BJP has been the dominant force in the state for several years now, the Congress believes the fuel price hikes and disenchantment of the people with the ruling party will help it make a comeback.
The Aam Aadmi Party, with 2,097 contestants, and Asaduddin Owaisi's All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM), that has fielded candidates in minority-dominated seats in Godhra, Modasa and Bharuch municipalities, will look to challenge the state's two main parties.
Earlier this month, the BJP had swept the elections to six municipal corporations in the state including Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar. The party won 483 out of 576 seats.
The Congress managed just 55 seats. The AAP won 27 seats, all of them in Surat, making them the main opposition in Surat Municipal Corporation. The polls were held on February 21.
(With inputs from agencies)