Gujarat second phase clocks almost 69% voting, all eyes on December 18

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shows his finger marked with indelible ink after casting his vote in Ahmedabad

An average of the exit polls predicted a win from 117 of the 182 seats for the BJP in the Gujarat Assembly and 64 for the Congress.

Exit polls today said the BJP would oust the Congress and regain power in Himachal Pradesh.

In Himachal Pradesh, where the Congress was in power for the last five years, the exit polls showed the BJP wresting the power with India Today-Axis giving it 47-55 in the 68-member assembly. Alpesh Thakor, a Thakor community leader, joined Congress and managed tickets for his loyalists, a move that that could affect the party losing seats even where the BJP was on the backfoot.

In Centra Gujarat, BJP is likely to win 21-27 seats with 47 per cent vote share; Congress- 13-19 seats with 42 cent vote share.

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Polling for the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections in 93 constituencies ended on Thursday with a 68.4 voter turnout percentage.

The first phase on December 9 saw 66.75 per cent ballotting from the Suarashtra-Kutch and southern regions of Gujarat. If the exit polls prove accurate, the mandate would be firmly a vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Polling was marred by reports of malfunctioning electronic voting machines.

The Republic-Jan ki Baat poll updated its earlier prediction for Gujarat to say the BJP will get 115 seats, the same as its 2012 tally. They were also unanimous in predicting that the BJP would win the polls in Himachal Pradesh.

In Patadra village, Fatehpura in Sukhsar police station in Dahod district, a criminal offence was registered by police against a person, Sureshbhai Ramsinh Baraiya, and 10 others for insisting that people vote for a particular political party, which led to an altercation with a person, Badrabhai Kalubhai Dangi. The combined figures of the state assembly elections stands at around 67.75 per cent - lower than the 72 per cent of the 2012 Assembly elections. The Congress has accused the poll panel of being partial to the BJP, saying it shot off a notice to Rahul Gandhi yesterday but was mum on the PM.

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