Political News, Nation, (New Delhi), October 25:- The Election Commission (EC) has announced the schedule of the upcoming crucial assembly elections in Gujarat.
The polls will be conducted in two phases. The polling for the first phase will be held on December 9 and for the second phase on December 14. The counting of the votes will be held on December 18.
The last date of nominations is set to be November 21.
The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Achal Kumar Joti, announced that 50,128 polling booths would be set up and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trial (VVPAT) machines will be used for the polls in the state.
The CEC also said the model code of conduct would come into force with immediate effect in the state, adding that a flash of light would be shown after voting showing details of the candidate who the voter has voted for.
CCTVs will also be installed along the border check-points, said the CEC, adding there would be 102 all-women polling stations for the polls in Gujarat. Differently-abled voters will be given preference at the polling stations.
The state polls will witness a direct contest between the Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Eyeing Patidar votes, the Congress has been trying to get support from their leaders to counter the saffron party in Gujarat, where they had been in power since 1995.
The contest is important for the BJP because Gujarat is the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
The election watchdog had earlier come under fire for not announcing the dates for Gujarat assembly polls, along with those of Himachal Pradesh. The Opposition alleged that the poll body did not announce the date for Gujarat polls as it was pressurised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to delay it.
The term of 13th state assembly ends on January 22, 2018.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)