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Friday, January 27, 2023

Gujarat Assembly Election to Commence on Thursday

To motivate young voters, 33 polling stations will be managed by youngest available polling staff

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. Mumbai: Over 2.39 crore voters from south Gujarat and the Kutch-Saurashtra region will seal the fate of 788 candidates in 89 constituencies in the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly election slated to be held on thursday.

The 2.39 crore votes comprise 1.24 crore male votes, 1.15 crore female votes, and 497 third-gender votes.

There are 25434 polling booths (9018 in urban areas and 16416 in rural areas) geared up with 34324 EVMs, 34324 central units, and 38749 VVPATS (voter-verified paper audit trails). 

In all, 27978 presiding officers and 78985 polling officers have been deployed to ensure smooth polling.

For an enhanced voting experience, 1274 polling stations will be completely managed by women polling and security staff, and in 182 polling stations, people with physical disabilities will greet the voters.

For the first time, to motivate young voters, 33 polling stations will be managed by the youngest available polling staff.

There will be a mock poll 90 minutes ahead of the scheduled polling time of 8 a.m., in front of candidates and representatives of political parties, to clear any doubts, Sanjay Prasad, the Chief Election Commissioner of the Gujarat State Election Commission, stated in a press release. The polling will be conducted until 5.30 p.m.

Candidates

The BJP has fielded 89 candidates (9 women), the Congress has fielded 89 candidates (6 women), and the AAP has fielded 88 candidates (5 women).

Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party has fielded 57 candidates, followed by the Bharatiya Tribal Party (14), the Samajwadi Party (12), the CPM-04, and the CPI-02. There are 339 Independents in the fray.

Prominent candidates

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Some of the prominent candidates include: Isudan Gadhvi, AAP’s CM, who faces competition from Khambalia, Devbhoomi Dwarka, former Minister Parshottam Solanki, six-time MLA Kunwarji Bavaliya, Kantilal Bavalia (“Morbi Hero”), Rivaba Ravindra Jadeja (wife of cricketer Ravindra Jadeja), and Gujarat AAP President Gopal Italia.

Constituencies

The constituencies include: Abdasa (Kachchh), Mandvi (Kachchh), Bhuj (Kachchh), Anjar (Kachchh), Gandhidham (SC) (Kachchh), Rapar (Kachchh), Dasada (SC) (Kachchh), Limbdi (Surendranagar), Wadhwan (Surendranagar), Chotila (Surendranagar), Dhrangadhra (Surendranagar), Dhra (SC) (Kachchh),

Second phase 

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In all, 833 candidates will try their luck for 93 seats in the second phase of the election to be held on December 5.

The counting of votes will take place on December 8 along with that of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly election. 

The NCP, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), and All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) are also trying their luck, lending a national colour to this otherwise regional election. The BJP, Congress, and AAP announced a bucketful of freebies during the campaign.

The Gujarat polls have become high profile, with Prime Minister Narendra Mody addressing a series of campaign meetings and a sizable number of CMS joining the race.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J.P. Nadda were among those who campaigned on the last day. Besides, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Punjab CM Bhagwant Singh Mann, and Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge have made fervent appeals to voters.

The election is of crucial importance

Gujarat has been ruled continuously by the BJP since 1997. It is expected to retain its hold over the state.

However, the entry of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) has made it a triangular contest (which was otherwise bipolar), with the Congress trying to retain its traditional hold.

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Also Read: Two Paramilitary Jawans Killed in Firing by Colleagues in Gujarat’s Porbandar

Author

  • Raju Vernekar

    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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