Assembly elections in Gujarat will be held in two phases on December 9 and 14, the ElectionCommission announced on Wednesday , 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.
Here are the live updates-
# First phase poll to take place in 89 constituencies on December 9 and second phase will take place in 93 constituencies: EC
# Counting to take place on December 18: EC
# Polling for the first phase will be held on December 9 and second phase on December 14: EC
# Gujarat to go to polls in two phases: EC
# E-payment will be used for vehicles: EC
# Complaint can be lodged at EC's App: EC
# EC will monitor advertisements which will be telecasted on TV, Cinema and FM
# Each candidate has to open new bank account for election spending: EC
# No candidate can spend more than Rs 28 lakhs on campaigning: EC
# special bank account will be set up for polls expenditure: EC
# Voting guide will be provided in Gujarati language: EC
# All poll rallies will be recorded: EC
# CCTV cameras will be installed: EC
# polls will be videographed: EC
# Model code of conduct comes into force with immediate effect: EC
# Model code of conduct will be applicable to union government in policy-making decisions related to Gujarat: EC
# VVPAT machines will be used in the polling: EC
# Will make elaborate arrangments of security and power: EC
# 50,128 polling booths will be set up: EC
# Around 4 crores 30 lakh voters will exercise their franchise: EC
Here are the major ten points-
1-The term of the 182-member Gujarat assembly gets over on January 23 next year.
2- -The Commission has been under attack from opposition parties for not having announced the dates for Gujarat Assembly elections along with Himachal Pradesh.
3- The opposition has been alleging that by "delaying" the announcement of the Gujarat polls, the EC was giving time to the BJP government in the state and at the Centre to sidestep the provisions of the model code.
4- Congress party also alleged EC for giving time to BJP to offer sops to the electorate to swing votes in favour of the saffron party.
5- The grand old party had alleged it was done to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi to play a "false Santa Claus" and announce freebies for voters before the model code of conduct kicked in.
6- Chief Election Commissioner A K Joti had defended the decision of announcing Himachal Pradesh's poll schedule before that of Gujarat, saying that multiple factors including the weather, flood relief work and festivities were considered before taking a call on election dates.
7- The CEC had said while the Gujarat and Himachal polls were announced together in 2012, their schedules were different.
9- Several Patidar leaders Alpesh Thakore, Nikhil Savani quit BJP and vowed to defeat the saffron party.
10-BJP refuted charges and described Gujarat OBC leader Alpesh Thakore's decision to join the Congress as "drama", claiming he was already a member of the party.