Government

Gujarat Election Dates Announced: Polling on December 9, 14, Results on December 18

The announcement comes almost two weeks after the EC declared dates for Himachal Pradesh. Counting of votes for the two states will be on the same day.

Election comissioner

Chief Election Commissioner A.K. Joti announcing Gujarat poll dates today. Credit: Twitter/ANI

New Delhi: Assembly elections in Gujarat will be held in two phases on December 9 and 14, the Election Commission announced today, setting the stage for a high-stakes battle between the state’s ruling BJP and the Congress.

The votes will be counted on December 18, the same day as Himachal Pradesh, where elections will be held on November 9, Chief Election Commissioner A. K. Joti said at a press conference.

“The Model Code of Conduct comes into effect immediately. It will be applicable to the state government of Gujarat, the Union government and all candidates and political parties,” he told reporters.

The poll process in the state will start on November 14 with the issue of the gazette notification for the first phase. Candidates can start filing their nominations from that day.

The first phase will be held in 89 of the 182 seats and will cover 19 of 33 districts. The notification for the second phase will be issued on November 20 for the remaining 93 assembly seats in 14 districts.

The last date for filing nominations in the first phase is November 21. Candidates can withdraw their nominations till November 24. For the second phase, candidates can file their nominations till November 27. They can withdraw their nominations till November 30.

Paper trail of votes will be used in all the 50,128 polling stations of the 182 assembly constituencies to ensure transparency, Joti said.

All voters in Gujarat will be able to see their votes cast through Voter-Verified Paper Trail Audit (VVPAT) machines, which will be installed along with electronic voting machines.

The Commission has set up 182 all-women polling stations, one in each assembly constituency. The height of the voting compartment has also been increased to ensure secrecy.

All licensed weapons will have to be deposited in police stations, Joti said.

CCTV cameras will be used at border check posts to prevent the smuggling of liquor and money and to stop anti-social elements from entering the states.

There will be voter assistance booths at every polling station, the CEC said.

The Election Commission, he added, will also deploy general, police and expenditure observers all over the state.

“Elections in Gujarat have always been peaceful and the Commission will take all necessary measures to ensure a peaceful free and fair election in Gujarat,” Joti said.

The CEC said central armed forces will be deployed along with the state police to ensure smooth and peaceful elections.

The announcement of the Gujarat elections comes almost two weeks after the Election Commission declared dates for Himachal Pradesh on October 12. The delay led to the opposition raising questions on deviations from the norm and alleging that it was done to help the Centre announce sops for the state.

  • alok asthana

    Has Modi allowed these dates?

    • Anjan Basu

      Of course he has. How else could Joti have gone ahead on this? How would he dare?

  • Anjan Basu

    Finally Joti gets the go-ahead. Modi has now exhausted his bag of gifts for Gujarat. Joti’s lie about ‘relief work’ in the state being disrupted in the event of elections being announced has been called repeatedly. Last night NDTV ran a programme where all the ‘flood-affected’ districts said they were not affected. That, in a manner of speaking, was the last nail in the coffin. Modi, Joti and Co realised nothing much else was to be gained by whipping the ‘flood disaster’ horse any more. So now come the dates.

  • https://babupaedia.blogspot.in Sudhansu Mohanty

    Achal Kumar J(y)oti’s last hurrah before he demits the office of the Chief Election Commissioner on January 22, 2018! I am tempted to quote James Boren who tongue-in-cheek once said that, “Every bureaucrat has a constitutional right to fuzzify, profundify!” Hopefully, he has done enough “fuzzification” (flood relief the fig leaf) and “profundification” (reeling off details of relief work done) to earn the gratitude of all who matter to be eligible to take another (pot)shot to render invaluable and infinite service in the cause of the nation.

    • Anjan Basu

      How are you so sure it is going to be Joti’s last hurrah? Modi can be a good master, as Joti knows already, and we shouldn’t be surprised if the master slots him in some other important assignment where Joti can go on speaking in his master’s voice.

      • https://babupaedia.blogspot.in Sudhansu Mohanty

        All I meant was J(y)oti’s last hurrah as the Chief Election Commissioner. He has truly done enough with his “innovation” for “Modiment” to earn Modi’s gratitude, and ensure that he sits atop the long list of government officials who are on the lookout notice (no pun intended) for opportunities to serve the nation! For whatever could be Modi’s failings, he certainly isn’t an ingrate! J(y)oti knows it well, he’s staked his everything, and naturally will have plenty of such opportunities in other positions – to earn hurrahs and plaudits – as long as “Modiment” reigns supreme.

        • Anjan Basu

          Yes, of course! I was only joking.

          • https://babupaedia.blogspot.in Sudhansu Mohanty

            I caught on, but such is the desecration of Institutions by this government and its handpicked instruments that I wanted to reemphasize. More when I read J(y)oti’s pathetic apologies (not justifications) for delaying announcement of Gujarat election. Come to think of it, 13 days were the panacea for flood relief! J(y)otism will put Orwell to shame!!!

  • Anjan Basu

    Your concern is very real, and very valid. The greatest harm that the BJP is doing to Indian democracy is by way of undermining our constitutional architecture, our institutions. Indira Gandhi tried doing something similar during 1975-76, but with far less success and with decidedly less self-righteous arrogance. Here, Modi & Co consider it beneath their dignity even to answer poeople’s questions. It does no more seem to be an exaggeration that India is headed towards a variant of Fascism today.