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DN Bureau

BJP Using Police, Govt Machinery To Influence Polling, Alleges Gujarat Congress Chief

Gujarat Congress chief Jagdish Thakor

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Congress chief Jagdish Thakor on Monday alleged election malpractices by the ruling BJP in the ongoing Assembly elections and said that the party is "influencing the polling" with the "help of police and government machinery".

Voting for the second phase in the Assembly polls began today at 8 am in 93 Assembly constituencies across 14 districts of north and central Gujarat.

Alleging an attack on Congress candidate Kanti Kharadi, the party Gujarat chief said that the party is receiving similar complaints from other candidates also.

"Congress is winning. Our candidate Kanti Kharadi was attacked last night and was untraceable for 3 hrs. We called up EC, reached Gandhinagar at 1.30 am and called them to come there. Complaints by our other candidates are also coming," he alleged while speaking to ANI.

He also alleged an "atmosphere of fear" in the state and said that it shows the "BJP is losing".

"Baldev Thakor is contesting from Kalol and it was turned into a Police camp. There was an atmosphere of fear. It shows that BJP is losing and with the help of Police and government machinery they are influencing the polling. Our workers and leaders will contest bravely and win," he said.

Earlier today, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Gujarat's Viramgam Hardik Patel appealed to the people to cast their votes in the second phase of the assembly elections which is underway and said that his party has worked for the development of the state.

"I appeal to everyone to vote. BJP has maintained law and order and has worked for the development of Gujarat. I want all Gujaratis to vote for BJP. We should exercise our power to vote as the election is the beauty of democracy," Patel said ahead of casting vote.

Patel's wife, Kinjalben Patel exuded confidence in her husband's victory in the polls and said that people support Hardik and that he would emerge victorious.

"This isn't a neck-to-neck fight, everyone is with Hardik. We're awaiting the results. Hardik likes challenges, and he'll overcome this challenge too. He'll definitely win," she said.

The 93 poll-bound seats in the second phase are spread across Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Mehsana, Patan, Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Aravali, Mahisagar, Panchmahal, Dahod, Vadodara, Anand, Kheda and Chhota Udaipur districts.

Among the key constituencies in the final phase are Ghatlodia, which will determine the poll fate of Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel; Viramgam where Patidar leader Hardik Patel is contesting as a BJP candidate, and Gandhinagar South where the saffron party has fielded Alpesh Thakor.

The Leader of the Opposition, Congress' Sukhram Rathava is contesting from Chhota Udaipur, while Lakhabhai Bharwad, Jignesh Mevani and Amee Yajnik are some other prominent Congress names from Viramgam, Vadgam and Ghatlodia seats.

From the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bharat Vakhala from Devgadhbaria, Bheema Chaudhary from Deodar, Dolat Patel from Gandhinagar South, Kunwarji Thakor from Viramgam and Vijay Patel from Ghatlodia will test their electoral fortunes in the second phase.

The high-octane campaigning for the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections came to an end on Saturday evening, which saw big shots across parties trying to woo voters.

During the first phase of polling on December 1, Gujarat saw an overall turnout of 63.14 per cent. The voting began at 8 am in 89 constituencies spread across 19 districts of Kutch, Saurashtra and South Gujarat regions.

The first phase of voting for 89 seats in Kutch, Saurashtra and South Gujarat ended on December 1, with an overall turnout of 63.31 per cent. The results of the Gujarat Assembly polls will be announced on December 8. (ANI)

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