- Votes for all 182 seats will be counted on December 18
- Electronic vote machines with VVPATs will be used in Gujarat elections
- BJP had won 116 seats in 2012 elections, targeting 150 seats this year
Here is your 10-point cheat-sheet to the Gujarat assembly election dates:
"Gujarat's chief secretary wrote to the EC on September 27 and October 2 to say that floods have cause widespread damage and calling elections will affect the pace of rehabilitation work. This was one of the reasons we announced polling dates for Gujarat separately," said Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti today.
The Congress has accused the Election Commission of "disturbing the level playing field in Gujarat" with the delay in announcing poll dates. "Looks like EC got a Green Signal from the Government after they finished their gift distribution scheme in Gujarat," said the party's Jaiveer Shergill after the poll dates were announced.
The BJP has dismissed the Congress' allegations as "absurd" and criticised it for questioning a constitutional authority. "The BJP will win 150 seats plus," asserted Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani after poll dates were announced, stating that "all surveys show us winning."
Amid indications that the poll dates would be out today, the Gujarat government had announced a series of sops on Tuesday for different sections of the society, including farmers, protesting accredited health workers and backward castes.
In October alone the state government 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.
It's a prestige battle for the BJP - Gujarat is the home state of the party's two biggest leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah who has set the target of 150 seats for the BJP.
Main opposition party 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.
To win the Gujarat elections a party needs to get a majority at 92 seats. The BJP had won 116 seats in the last election, the Congress had won 60.
4.33 crore people are eligible to vote in Gujarat in this year's assembly elections, the Election Commission said today said. It said electronic voting machines with VVPAT paper trail machines will be used at all 50,128 polling booths. VVPAT is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted.
The last date for filing nominations in the first phase is November 21. Candidates can withdraw their nominations till November 24. For the second phase, candidates can file their nominations till November 27 and withdraw till November 30.