Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017 dates and schedule: Election Commission will announce dates and schedule for Gujarat Assembly polls this afternoon. A political slugfest between Congress and BJP has already erupted over the alleged delay of the announcement of dates. Congress has slammed BJP and PM Modi over the issue. The ruling party at the Centre and the state has defended the decision citing past instances. A few days ago EC had announced dates for Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections but did not declare the schedule for Gujarat. The term of the 182-member Gujarat assembly gets over on January 23 next year.
The Chief Election Commissioner had said the polls will be held in December this year. Chief Election Commissioner A K Joti had defended the decision of announcing Himachal Pradesh poll schedule before that of Gujarat, saying multiple factors including weather, flood relief work and festivities were considered before taking a call on election dates. Gujarat is considered as a citadel for BJP and Congress is leaving no stone unturned to breach the saffron bastion.
1:13 PM: Model code of conducted to be implemented with immediate effect, CEC AK Joti
1:10 PM: VVPAT machines will be used in the polling, says CEC AK Joti
1:08 PM: Gujarat Assembly polls will be held in 2 phases, says CEC AK Joti
1:07 PM: Number of polling booths this time will be 50 thousands 128, says Chief Election Commissioner
1:05 PM: Number of polling booths have been increased this time.
1:03 PM: Total number of voters in Gujarat are 4.30 crore, says Chief Election Commissioner
1:00 PM: The Election Commission is holding a press conference
12:58 pm: The Election Commission will announce poll dates for Gujarat Assemble Elections shortly.
12:55 PM: 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 and offer sops to the electorate to swing votes in favour of the saffron party.
12:52 pm: The term of the 182-member Gujarat assembly will get over on January 23 next year.
12:50 PM: The Commission has been under attack from opposition parties for not having announced the dates for Gujarat Assembly elections along with Himachal Pradesh.
12:45 PM: The Election Commission had told this to the court which was hearing a separate petition seeking direction for use of VVPAT machines in Gujarat Assembly polls.
12:43 PM: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will hold press meet at 4 pm today after the announcement of Gujarat poll dates
12:41 pm: In August, the EC had told the apex court that it would be able to conduct the Gujarat assembly elections using Electronic Voting Machines with paper trail.
12:39 PM: Congress leader Vidya Stokes filed case in Himachal Pradesh High Court challenging rejection of her nomination by Election Commission.
12:37 pm: During the hearing, senior lawyers Kapil Sibal and Vivek Tankha, appearing for him, told the bench that this matter was required to be heard expeditiously as dates for the Gujarat Assembly elections were expected to be declared soon.
12:35 PM: “Let a copy of the petition be served to the central agency so that we can have assistance of Attorney General,” the bench said.
12:33 PM: Hardik Patel told ABP News that he wanted Congress to win as they would mean BJP’s defeat.
12:30 PM: Prakash Joshi, secretary of All India Congress Committee, has moved the top court seeking a direction to the EC to install CCTV cameras inside the polling booth to watch the “mobility of persons inside”.
12:23 pm: A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud sought the assistance of Attorney General K K Venugopal in the matter which is to be heard on October 30.
12:20 PM: On October 23, the Supreme Court had agreed to hear this month end a plea by the Congress party seeking directions to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to frame guidelines for counting of votes through VVPAT machines in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly poll and other elections.
12:15 PM: Seven battalions of paramilitary forces need to be moved for Gujarat and HP polls as well as to NE and J-K border, Centre tells SC.
12:12 PM: In July, parts of Gujarat were ravaged by incessant rains and floods that claimed more than 200 lives.
12:10 PM: Chief Election Commissioner Joti also underlined the fact that the government staff which would carry out the restoration work is the same lot which would carry out services during the elections.
12:07 PM: And that once the announcement for the polls is made the government employees will have to leave the restoration work and perform election-related duties.
12:00 PM: The CEC, citing an office memorandum issued by Ministry of Law and Justice in 2001 and approved by the Supreme Court, said, “The commission shall announce the date of any election which shall be a date ordinarily not more than three weeks prior to the date on which the notification is likely to be issued in wake of elections.
11:57 AM: We had stated that we would plan the election schedule in Gujarat in such a way that polling in Gujarat is over prior to Himachal Pradesh Assembly election result, so that the outcome of the result should not affect the voting in Gujarat,” Joti told ANI.
11:54 AM: The EC has always made sure that the voting pattern of one state does not affect the voting pattern of another state, and that is why the counting period in Himachal Pradesh has been kept on 18th December 2017.
11:50 AM: The CEC further asserted that the election commission would plan the poll schedule in Gujarat in such a way “the outcome of the result should not affect the voting in Gujarat.” “Another main reason is that Himachal and Gujarat are not adjoining states. If multiple states go for polls, they are adjoining states,” CEC Jyoti said.
11:43 AM: “When we went to Himachal Pradesh, the state election commission there, political parties and the state administration had requested that on account of likelihood of snowfall, three districts – Kinnaur, Lahaul Spiti and Chamba – are likely to experience snowfall. Therefore, a request made to conduct the elections in early November so that voters do not get affected and can cast their votes,” said Chief Election Commissioner Joti.
11:38 AM: Jan Vikalp Morcha will contest election on tractor symbol of All India Hindustan Congress Party, says Shankersinh Vaghela in Ahmedabad.
11:35 AM: Won’t take funds from Ambani and Adani. If our govt is formed, we’ll provide Rs 5000 pension to widows, says Jan Vikalp Morcha leader Shankersinh Vaghela says.
11:32 AM: Meanwhile, Shankersinh Vaghela has said, “We believe in placing candidates on merits unlike others who are doing horse trading”.
11:26 AM: In an exclusive interview to ANI, Joti said political parties and the state administration in Himachal Pradesh had requested the election commission to organise the polls before mid-November as there was probability of snowfall in three districts of the hill state.
11:23 AM: Earlier, Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Joti had said multiple factors, including the weather had come into play when deciding why to hold elections in Himachal Pradesh earlier than Gujarat.
11:20 AM: Making the announcements, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said the hike would benefit around 40,000 women who work as health activists across the state, which goes to the polls by the year-end.
11:17 AM: The BJP government effected a hike of 50 per cent in the incentive paid to Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA), village-level women who are a key component in the implementation of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
11:11 AM: Meanwhile ahead of the Assembly polls, the Gujarat government yesterday announced a slew of sops for various sections of the society, including farmers and the agitating accredited health workers.
11:08 AM: After the EC did not announce the election schedule for Gujarat, the Congress 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.
11:04 AM: The Election Commission of India has received fierce criticism from opposition parties for not having announced the dates for Gujarat Assembly elections along with Himachal Pradesh.
11:00 AM: 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 and offer sops to the electorate to swing votes in favour of the saffron party.
10:56 AM: CEC A K Joti had said while the Gujarat and Himachal polls were announced together in 2012, their schedules were different. He also said the two states had no similarities in geography or weather patterns.
10:52 AM: The term of the 182-member Gujarat assembly gets over on January 23 next year.
10:49 AM: 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.