The Election Commission of India on Wednesday announced the schedule for Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017. The elections in Gujarat will take place in two phases. The first phase of voting will take place on 9th December, while second phase of votes will be cast on 14th December.
The election results will be declared on 18th December. Addressing a press conference, CEC, A K Joti, said EVMs and VVPATs will be used in the elections. He added that EC will ensure that the required number of EVMs and VVPATs are available in the state for the polls.
“We have good experience in deployment of VVPATs in polling stations,” Joti said. The EC said that Model Code of Conduct has come into force from now, adding, that all parties and candidates have to adhere to it. He also said that there will be 50,128 polling booths, along with 102 all-women polling stations for the polls in Gujarat.
This time, the MCC will also apply to Central government, which means that no schemes for the states could be announced by them. No candidate can spend more than Rs 28 lakhs on campaigning, Joti said.
The announcement of elections came after much criticism from opposition parties. Congress had on Tuesday demanded that elections in Gujarat be immediately declared and the model code of conduct enforced. It said that Election Commission should not be a party to what it called the BJP’s attempt to “run away” from the assembly polls. The party further alleged that BJP was trying to delay Gujarat assembly polls for its last-minute efforts to woo the people of the state with sops announced by the prime minister.
“Why is the Election Commission becoming an unnecessary party to the BJP’s attempt to run away from the elections?…Why is the EC becoming a party to it. The Election Commission has the constitutional responsibility and mandate,” the Congress had said.”We demand that the Election Commission immediately declare elections in Gujarat, enforce the model code of conduct to stop all these allegations that sheer chicanery is taking place in Gujarat,” Congress leader Manish Tewari had told reporters.