Chief Election Commission (CEC) A.K. Joti on Tuesday announced the schedule for a two-phase Gujarat Assembly elections. The term of the 182-member House comes to an end on January 23, 2018.
Here are the highlights from the CEC's presser:
Two phase polling: Nineteen districts and 89 seats in the first phase polling on December 9.
Fourteen districts and 93 seats in the second phase polling on December 14.
Counting of votes is on December 18.
Poll process to start on November 14 with the issuance of notification and filing of nominations for the first phase.
GIS based real-time monitoring of election activities.
Webcasting from critical polling stations.
Grievance redressal system developed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hear through a mobile app.
Ceiling of election expenditure is Rs. 28 lakh.
Forces to be deployed well in advance to the poll dates. Forces will be deployed in economically sensitive areas.
All critical events of polling will be covered by CCTVs in border check posts.
Model Code of Conduct applicable to the Union Government also.
All candidates must file an affidavits and if any column in is left blank, the returning officer will file a notice. And if the column is not corrected, even after the notice, then the returning officer may reject the affidavit.
There will be a total of 50,128 polling stations for 182 seats. And the polls will be fully VVPAT-based. All EVMs to be attached with VVPATs. Height of voter screen raised.
Differently-abled voters have been identified and necessary arrangements made to help them vote.
All-woman managed polling stations, numbering 102, to be in place.
The total number of voters is 4.33 crore.
Opposition criticism of delay in announcing Gujarat dates
The ECI has been under attack from Opposition parties for not having announced the dates for Gujarat Assembly elections along with the Himachal Pradesh poll date announcement.
The Opposition has alleged that by “delaying” the announcement of the Gujarat poll dates, the ECI was giving time to the BJP government in the State and at the Centre to sidestep the provisions of the model code and offer sops to the electorate to swing votes in favour of the BJP.
Himachal Pradesh polls
The Himachal Pradesh Assembly poll will be held in a single phase on November 9 , the ECI announced on October 12.