Gujarat election 2017 highlights: Polls to be held on December 9 and 14, says EC | india news | Hindustan Times
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Gujarat election 2017 highlights: Polls to be held on December 9 and 14, says EC

A total of 4.33 crore voters will cast their ballot in Gujarat, which will for the first time see VVPAT machines being used at every polling booth.

india Updated: Oct 25, 2017 15:09 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Members of the election commission announce the date for the Himachal polls on October 12.
Members of the election commission announce the date for the Himachal polls on October 12. (PTI file)

Gujarat will vote in two phases, on December 9 and 14, the Election Commission announced on Wednesday.

The election watchdog has faced criticism for not announcing these dates along with the schedule for Himachal Pradesh earlier this month. Opposition parties allege that this helped the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to sidestep rules and offer incentives to voters in Gujarat.

The vote is seen as a barometer of support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a time when a sputtering economy has handed the opposition Congress party a possible opening to regain political ground.

Here are the live updates:

2.20pm: Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani says, “We are ready. Confident that BJP will win with 3/4th majority.”

1.41pm: CCTV cameras will be used at border checkposts to prevent smuggling of liquor and money and to stop anti-social elements from entering the state, says CEC Joti.

1.40pm: Poll process in Gujarat to start on November 14 with issue of notification and filing of nomination for first phase: EC

1.38pm: No. of voters in phase 1: 2.21 crore

1.37pm: No. of voters in phase 1: 2.11 crore

1.34pm: Phase 2 will see voting in 93 seats.

1.34pm: Phase 1 will see voting in 89 seats.

1.33pm: Counting on December 18, along with Himachal Pradesh, says EC.

1.31pm: Poll dates are: December 9 and December 14, says EC.

1.29pm: Schedule for election-- polling in two phases.

1.24pm: Conduct of govt officials: Discharge duties in impartial and fair manner, says EC.

1.22pm: Online application for rallies or public meetings, called Suvidha, will be there: EC

1.20pm: Control room and complaint monitoring centres will be available 24x7, says EC.

1.19pm: Voter helplines will be there: EC

1.16pm: Rs 28 lakh is the ceiling of expenditure for candidates: EC

1.15pm: Candidates will have to open separate account and use that for elections.

1.14pm: Election expenditure of candidates: Several agencies, including police and excise department, will be monitoring the situation.

1.13pm: Elaborate security arrangements will be in place -- CRPF will be available to help local police: EC.

1.11pm: Model code of conduct also covers the Union government, says EC

1.10pm: Model code of conduct comes into effect immediately, says EC

1.09pm: Slips generated by VVPAT machine will be randomly selected and counted.

1.08pm: 50,128 polling booths will be set up: Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti

1.07pm: 182 polling stations with 100% women personnel: EC.

1.06pm: VVPAT, along with EVM, will be there: EC.

1.05pm: Differently-abled voters will be given priority: EC.

1.04pm: All polling stations will have drinking water, electricity, says EC.

1.03pm:Voter guide brochure should be put out in local language, says EC.

1.02pm: Total number of electors is 4.33 crore. Photo rolls updates to 99%, says EC.

1.01pm: Election Commision press conference begins.

12.37pm: Centre tells Supreme Court that forces need to be deployed in the poll- bound states of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

12.34pm: Elections in this crucial state will be fought amid a new potential embarrassment that emerged over the business dealings of Jay Amitbhai Shah, son of BJP chief Amit Shah.

12.33pm: For the Congress, the stakes have never been higher. Its vice-president, Rahul Gandhi, is said to be preparing to take over the party by the end of this month, setting up what could be his first formal leadership test in Gujarat.

12.32pm: For the BJP, the contest in Modi’s home state will be keenly watched for signs of voter reaction to some of his radical economic policies that made doing business far more complicated and raised the cost of compliance. It is also a state where the party has been in power for 22 years.

12.28pm: Some of the key issues at play

Patidar quota demand: Protests for OBC status by the influential Patidar community is probably the biggest challenge the BJP government has faced in its two-decade rule. The state government last month announced a commission and a corporation for communities outside the purview of reservation. But Hardik Patel has vowed to continue the agitation. Patidars can affect the result in as many as 60 of the total 182 seats.

GST: Small and medium-scale businessmen and traders, who form the core of the BJP support base, have been hit by what they call implementation glitches in the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax.

Farmers/Narmada: While the BJP has so far largely weaved its campaign around the Sardar Sarovar Dam – dedicated to the nation by PM Narendra Modi in October, the Congress has been trying to raise the issue of unavailability of Narmada water for irrigation.