New Delhi : The Election Commission on Thursday announced the polling schedule for the Gujarat Assembly. Polling will be held here in two phases on December 1 and 5 and results will be announced along with the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections on December 8.
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar along with Election Commissioner Anoop Chandra Pandey informed about the election program in a press conference here.
As per the schedule announced today, 89 assembly seats in the eastern and southern parts of Gujarat will go to polls in the first phase. The notification for this will be issued on November 05. Nominations can be made till November 14. The scrutiny of nominations will take place on November 15. The date of withdrawal of nomination will be November 17. Voting for this phase will be held on Thursday, December 01.
In the second phase, polling will be held for 93 assembly seats in central Gujarat. Notification for this will be issued on November 10. Nominations can be made till November 17. The scrutiny of nominations will take place on November 18. The date of withdrawal of nomination will be November 21. Voting for this phase will be held on Monday, December 05.
In Gujarat, polling will be held in Kutch, Sunder Nagar, Morbi, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Botad, Narmada, Bharuch, Surat, Tapi, Dang, Navsari and Valsad in the first phase. In the second phase, polling will be held in Banaskantha, Patan, Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Anand, Kheda, Mahisagar, Panchmahal, Dahod, Vadodara and Chhota Udaipur.
The Chief Election Commissioner said that the term of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly is going to end on 18 February 2023. It still has 100 days left. He informed that out of 182 assembly seats in the state, 13 are reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 27 for the Scheduled Tribes.
He told that this time 4,91,17,308 voters will be able to exercise their franchise. Of these, 27,943 are service voters. A polling station can have a maximum of 1500 voters. Keeping this in mind, 51,782 polling stations have been set up in 2022, which is 3.29 percent more than the last time.
Rajeev Kumar said that this time the Election Commission has tried to connect various disadvantaged groups with voting. The commission has ensured that the names of differently-abled, transgender and sex workers are included in the voter list. This time the list has 4,04,802 Divyang, 1,417 Transgender and 9,87,999 voters who have completed 80 years of age.
Rajeev Kumar said that by changing section 14 of the Representation of the People Act, of 1950, a provision has now been made that the voter list will be updated four times a year and youth who have crossed the age of 18 years will be linked to the voting programme. As a result of this, 3,24,420 new names have been added to the electoral rolls under the campaign run in Gujarat from January 1 to October 1 this year.
At least one polling station in every Vidhan Sabha of Gujarat will be operated by women and differently-abled only. Apart from this, to increase the participation of youth, one polling station in each district will be managed only by the youth and new polling officers.
Candidates with criminal backgrounds and the political parties that have given them tickets will have to report this through newspapers and TV channels at least thrice during the election campaign. Political parties will also have to explain on their website why they have given tickets to a candidate with a criminal background.