Gandhinagar: Over 80 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the elections held to elect members and Sarpanches in 8,624 gram panchayats across Gujarat, the State Election Commission (SEC) said on Wednesday.
In an official release, the Commission said: “In all, 80.12 per cent voter turnout was registered in the polls held yesterday (Tuesday) to 8,624 village panchayats in the state. Barring a few small incidents, voting was held in a peaceful manner.”
The counting of votes will take place on Thursday.
The Gram Panchayat elections are not held on party symbols, but it is common knowledge that candidates enjoy the backing of prominent political parties.
The tribal district of Narmada in south Gujarat registered the highest turnout of 87.45 per cent, while Bhavnagar district in the western part of Saurashtra saw the lowest 70.47 per cent voters.
The turnout in the previous polls five years ago was around 77 per cent.
In Tuesday’s elections, around 1.20 lakh candidates were in the fray for 53,116 wards across the state, and 26,800 candidates contested for 8,527 Sarpanch seats.
Over 44,000 ballot boxes were used at over 22,000 polling booths across the state. The total number of registered voters for the polls stood at over 1.65 crore, including 79.6 lakh women.
Due to some procedural irregularities and misprints in some ballot papers, the Election Commission said re-election was held on Wednesday for six seats — four seats of members and two of Sarpanches.
The polling for these seats was held in Bharuch, Kheda, Panchmahals, Mahisagar and Banaskantha districts.
Elections for 12 seats, including four seats of Sarpanch, have been cancelled due to the death of contesting candidates.
Polls on these seats will be held later, the release added.