The central poll panel annouced the poll dates for assembly elections in Gujarat today. The elections to 182-member Gujarat assembly will be held in two phases on December 9 and 13. Votes will be counted on December 18, the same day as Himachal assembly.
89 seats will go to polls in the first phase on December 9 and remaining 93 on December 14. With the annoucment of dates, model code of conduct has come into force.
Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has chosen BJP in last four assembly polls, with Modi ruling as Chief Minister for nearly 13-long years.
The Commission has been under attack from opposition parties for not having announced the dates for Gujarat Assembly elections along with Himachal Pradesh, which were announced earlier this month on October 12.
The poll process will start on November 14 with the issue of the gazette notification for the first phase. Candidates can start filing their nominations from that day. The notification for the second phase will be issued on November 20 for remaining 93 assembly seats.
Paper trail of votes will be used in all the 50,128 polling stations in the state to ensure transparency, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti said. The voters will be able to see their votes cast through the Voter-Verified Paper Trail Audit (VVPAT) machines.
The Commission has also set up 182 all-women polling stations, one in each assembly constituency.
Joti said CCTV cameras will be used at border check posts to prevent the smuggling of liquor and money and to stop anti-social elements from entering the state.
“Elections in Gujarat have always been peaceful and the Commission will take all steps to ensure that,” the CEC said.
(With inputs from PTI)