Ahmedabad: Voting today began at a slow pace for the second phase of elections to local bodies in Gujarat, including municipalities, district and taluka panchayats.
The elections, being held after the Patel quota agitation which were followed by protests against the ruling BJP, are being seen as a test for the ruling party as well as for Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.
On the other hand, the Congress is hopeful of making a comeback by garnering 'anti-BJP' votes. While the BJP is hoping to sweep the polls riding on its 'development' agenda, the Congress wants to make a comeback after gaining indirect support of the Patel community.
The polling for 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities started at 8 AM today and will end at 5 PM. Counting of votes will be done on December 2. During the first phase, polling for six municipal corporations was held last Sunday.
According to the State Election Commission, over 2.59 crore voters across Gujarat have been registered for these semi-urban and rural local bodies. The polling is being held for a total of 7,862 seats, for which more than 33,000 polling booths have been set up across Gujarat.