Gujarat Assembly elections on December 9 and 14

By Devesh K. Pandey, 2017-10-25 10:46:10

The Election Commission on Wednesday announced the schedule for two-phase assembly elections in Gujarat, to be held on December 9 and 14.

The results of both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, polling for which will be held on November 9, will be declared on December 18.

The first phase will comprise 89 constituencies in 19 districts, a notification for which will be issued on November 14. The last date of nomination is on November 21, while the last date for withdrawal of candidature is on November 24. A total 2.11 crore electors are expected to cast their votes.

In the second phase, the elections will be held in 93 assembly constituencies of 14 districts. The notification for this phase will be issued on November 20, applications will be scrutinised on November 22, and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is November 30. In all, 2.21 crore voters may exercise their franchise.

With the announcement of the schedule, the Model Code of Conduct has come into affect immediately.

Chief Election Commissioner A.K. Joti said the Gujarat assembly term is likely to expire on Jan 22 next year. The election will be held in 182 assembly constituencies comprising a total of 4.33 crore voters.

There is an increase of polling stations from 44,579 to 50,128. In all, 102 polling station will be managed by women staff only.

Comprehensive instructions for monitoring of poll expenditure have been issued. While flying squads have been set up, probe agencies, including Income-Tax Department, have been roped in for the purpose. The ceiling for expenditures per candidate is Rs.28 lakh.

CCTV cameras will be installed at critical polling booths in vulnerable areas, without violating the secrecy of voters. Surveillance would be kept through webcasting at select booths. Cameras would also be deployed at border check points.

The Commission's decision to de-link Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat elections had earlier attracted criticism from Opposition leaders.

Defending the decision, the CEC had earlier said that multiple factors, including the flood relief operations in Gujarat, were taken into account to finalise the poll schedule for the State. On Wednesday, he said 229 people lost their lives in the floods, which showed the magnitude of destruction caused.

When asked about the criticism by the former CECs over the "delay", he said the Election Commission had to take decisions based on the prevailing situation. It is not a static situation," he said.

On October 12, the Commission had announced the schedule for Himachal Pradesh elections.

Source: Thehindu.com

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