Stage is set: Election Commission declares Gujarat Assembly election dates

Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines will be used in the Legislative Assembly elections which will be held in Gujarat on 9th and 14th December, in two phases, declared the Election Commission today. Earlier, the Election commission had come under lot of flak for allegedly deliberately lingering declaring election date thereby delaying implementation of model code of conduct.

The Election Commission said that they delayed the declaration of election date owing to the unprecedented rains in July this year, which killed over 200 people.

The results will be declared on 18th December along with Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections. The election campaign expense has been capped at Rs. 28 lakh per candidate and separate bank account will have to be opened by candidates for election spending. A dedicated mobile app will be in place for people to lodge a complaint with the EC and a provision to upload pictures also will be provided.

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Riding high on the unprecedented victory in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, BJP President Amit Shah has set the target of over 150 out of 182 seats in upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections. While the BJP does stand more than very good chance of winning the elections, 150 is a bit overambitious. We had earlier reported how Gujarat elections this year won’t be a cakewalk for the BJP which faces a two decade long anti incumbency. Moreover, the pressure is building up since it is home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.

The Left-leaning media houses have already started their ‘Operation Gujarat‘ with fake stories and biased opinion-editorial stories being pushed on regular basis. Not surprising since all forces are putting their weight around the Gujarat elections because whatever the result, Gujarat election will be shown as the ‘proof’ of BJP’s failure or victory at Centre in 2019 General Elections.  No wonder the Congress was ready to gamble the entire state to save one Rajya Sabha seat in the Rajya Sabha re-elections for 3 seats held in August and Congress is now taking up the soft Hindutva approach to woo the voters by making Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi visit temples on his Gujarat campaign trail.

Congress is also back at playing its divisive caste-based politics where they are trying to rope in the ‘rising’ political faces of Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani, Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakor.

Whatever it is, we now wait for December 18 and watch as the drama unfolds. We have our popcorns ready.

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