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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Gujarat election 2017 LIVE: Polls to be held on December 9 and 14, says EC

Gujarat will vote in two phases, on December 9 and 14, the Election

Commission announced on Wednesday.

The election watchdog has faced criticism for not announcing these dates along with the schedule for Himachal Pradesh earlier this month. Opposition parties allege that this helped the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to sidestep rules and offer incentives to voters in Gujarat.

The vote is seen as a barometer of support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a time when a sputtering economy has handed the opposition Congress party a possible opening to regain political ground.

 Here are the live updates:-

12:32pm:-For the BJP, the contest in Modi’s home state will be keenly watched for signs of voter reaction to some of his radical economic policies that made doing business far more complicated and raised the cost of compliance. It is also a state where the party has been in power for 22 years.

12:33pm:-For the Congress, the stakes have never been higher. Its vice-president, Rahul Gandhi, is said to be preparing to take over the party by the end of this month, setting up what could be his first formal leadership test in Gujarat.

12:34pm:-Elections in this crucial state will be fought amid a new potential embarrassment that emerged over the business dealings of Jay Amitbhai Shah, son of BJP chief Amit Shah.

12:37pm:-Centre tells Supreme Court that forces need to be deployed in the poll- bound states of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

1:01pm:-Election Commision press conference begins.

1:02pm:-Total number of electors is 4.33 crore. Photo rolls updates to 99%, says EC.

1:03pm:-Voter guide brochure should be put out in local language, says EC.

1:04pm:-All polling stations will have drinking water, electricity, says EC.

1:05pm:-Differently-abled voters will be given priority: EC.

1:06pm:-VVPAT, along with EVM, will be there: EC.

1:07pm:-182 polling stations with 100% women personnel: EC.

1:08pm:-50,128 polling booths will be set up: Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti

1:09pm:-Slips generated by VVPAT machine will be randomly selected and counted.

1:10pm:-Model code of conduct comes into effect immediately, says EC

1:11pm:-Model code of conduct also covers the Union government, says EC

1:13pm:-Elaborate security arrangements will be in place -- CRPF will be available to help local police: EC.

1:14pm:-Election expenditure of candidates: Several agencies, including police and excise department, will be monitoring the situation.

1:15pm:-Candidates will have to open separate account and use that for elections.

1:16pm:- Rs 28 lakh is the ceiling of expenditure for candidates: EC 

1:19pm:-Voter helplines will be there: EC

1:20pm:-Control room and complaint monitoring centres will be available 24x7, says EC.

1:22pm:-Online application for rallies or public meetings, called Suvidha, will be there: EC

1:24pm:-Conduct of govt officials: Discharge duties in impartial and fair manner, says EC.

1:29pm:-Schedule for election-- polling in two phases.

1:31pm:-Poll dates are: December 9 and December 14, says EC.

Patidar quota demand:- Protests for OBC status by the influential Patidar community is probably the biggest challenge the BJP government has faced in its two-decade rule. The state government last month announced a commission and a corporation for communities outside the purview of reservation. But Hardik Patel has vowed to continue the agitation. Patidars can affect the result in as many as 60 of the total 182 seats.

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