Counting of votes for the by-elections held on October 21 for the six Assembly constituencies in Gujarat will be taken up on Thursday.

Over 600 government employees and officers have been deployed to conduct the exercise which will begin at 8 am in respective constituencies spread across six districts, stated a release issued by Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer S. Murali Krishna on Wednesday.

A voter turnout of 53.67 per cent was recorded in the by-elections held for Tharad seat in Banaskantha district, Radhanpur in Patan, Kheralu in Mehsana, Bayad in Arvalli, Amraiwadi in Ahmedabad, and Lunawada in Mahisagar district.

“Each counting centre will have a three-layered security comprising personnel of the local police, State Reserve Police and Central Armed Police,” it said.

By-elections were necessitated in Radhanpur and Bayad segments due to defections of Congress MLAs Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala, respectively, to the ruling BJP.

The saffron party fielded Thakor and Zala from their respective seats.

Bypolls were held in Tharad, Lunawada, Kheralu and Amraiwadi after sitting BJP MLAs got elected to Lok Sabha.

Four of the six seats that went to polls on October 21 were won by BJP in 2017 assembly elections, while the rest two by the Congress.

Apart from Thakor and Zala, the BJP fielded Jivrajbhai Patel in Tharad, Jignesh Sevak in Lunawada, Ajmalbhai Thakor in Kheralu and Jagdish Patel in Amraiwadi.

The Congress contestants were Gulabsinh Rajput (Tharad), Raghubhai Desai (Radhanpur), Babuji Thakor (Kheralu), Jasubhai Patel (Bayad), Dharmendra Patel (Amraiwadi) and Gulabsinh Chauhan (Lunawada).