This Article is From Oct 25, 2017

Gujarat Assembly Election Dates To Be Announced At 1 pm: 10 Points

Gujarat assembly election 2017 dates are being announced a day after the BJP government in the state announced a series of sops for different sections of the society, including farmers, protesting accredited health workers and backward castes.

Gujarat Assembly Election Dates To Be Announced At 1 pm: 10 Points

Gujarat Election 2017: The election to the 182-seat assembly is a battle of prestige for the BJP.

Highlights

  • Election Commission had indicated that counting day is on December 18
  • Model code of conduct comes into force after poll dates are announced
  • PM Modi, Amit Shah have set target of 150 in 182-seat Gujarat assembly
New Delhi: Dates for the Gujarat assembly elections will be declared by the Election Commission at 1 pm today, preventing the government from announcing more sops for the state where the BJP is seeking a record fifth straight term in power. The announcement comes 13 days after the voting date for Himachal Pradesh was declared, prompting the opposition Congress to accuse the election body of giving the ruling BJP a grace period to make last-minute announcements and launch massive projects to influence voters, a charge that both the Election Commission and the ruling party have rejected.

Here is your 10-point cheat-sheet to the Gujarat assembly election dates:

  1. Once the poll panel announces elections, the model code of conduct - which bans the use of government machinery or announcements that can influence voters  - is enforced.

  2. Amid indications that the Gujarat poll dates would be out any day now, the BJP government in the state announced a series of sops on Tuesday for different sections of the society, including farmers, protesting accredited health workers and backward castes.

  3. In October alone Gujarat's Vijay Rupani government has announced development projects worth 18,000 crores, including a 600-crore ferry service connecting Saurashtra and south Gujarat and also interest-free farm loans up to three lakhs, benefiting 25 lakh farmers.

  4. The Congress has protested at the almost two week gap between the announcement of election dates for Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, a deviation from the convention of announcing elections for the two states together.

  5. The opposition party said the delay gave PM Modi enough time to make two visits to launch projects and make an assortment of big bang infrastructure-related announcements, besides allowing Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to reach out to voters with concessions. 

  6. On October 12, the poll panel had announced that elections would be held on November 9 for the 66-seat Himachal Pradesh assembly, but said the Gujarat dates would be announced later. It did say that polls in that state would be held no later than December 18, when votes will be counted for Himachal Pradesh. 

  7. The BJP has called the Congress' allegation that the Centre has pressured the Election Commission "absolutely absurd" and accused the opposition party of questioning a constitutional authority. 

  8. Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti said the Gujarat government requested the commission to allow it time to wrap up relief and rehabilitation works to help flood victims in the state before polls were announced. "We realised that nearly 26,000 staff would be deployed for elections and flood relief work would get delayed," Mr Joti told NDTV this week.

  9. The election to the 182-seat Gujarat assembly is a battle of prestige for the BJP. It is the home state of the party's two biggest leaders, PM Modi and party president Amit Shah who has set a target of 150 seats for the BJP, up from the 115 seats it had won in 2012.

  10. The Congress hopes for an anti-incumbency sentiment against the BJP after two decades in power and its leader Rahul Gandhi has been campaigning aggressively in Gujarat, reaching out to sections like the Patels, Dalits and backward castes, seen to be upset with the ruling party, and also farmers and traders who have been affected by recent reforms like the notes ban and new national tax GST. 



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