Gujarat to vote on Dec 1, 5; result with Himachal on 8 – Flying Journals


Election results to be announced along with Himachal Pradesh poll results

New Delhi:

High-pressure parliamentary elections in Gujarat will be held in two phases on December 1 and December 5, the Election Commission announced today. The election results will be announced on December 8 along with the Himachal Pradesh poll results.

The long-awaited announcement comes against the backdrop of a recent bridge collapse in Morby that killed 135 people. In fact, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar began interacting with the media to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in this horrific tragedy.

According to the Election Commission’s timetable, the gazette notice will be issued the day after tomorrow, with November 14 being the last date to submit nominations for balloting. The last date to withdraw nominations is 17 November. There will be 89 seats to vote in the first stage and 93 seats in the second stage.

The polling panel dismissed allegations that the vote was delayed, saying the term of this parliament will end on February 18 next year. Mr Kumar said several factors, including weather, were taken into account before the date was finalized.

The Chief Electoral Commissioner also responded to allegations of EVM tampering. “Actions and outcomes speak louder than words. At times, parties critical of the commission have got surprise results in elections. Some have questioned EVMs, but they are silent when they win elections through the same EVMs,” he added.

Gujarat is set to hold an exciting poll that could turn into a three-run race as Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) enters its political landscape.

The BJP, which has ruled the state for almost 25 years, was at a disadvantage after the fallout from the Morby Bridge collapse showed a clear misstep, placing the Bhupendra Patel allocation on a sticky wicket.

Buoyed by a blockbuster victory in Punjab earlier this year, AAP is trying to become a key player in Gujarat this time around after its early attempts proved fruitless.

State polls in 2017 showed Congress undercutting the BJP by showing its best performance in decades. However, the ruling party still managed to retain power.

This time, Congress also faces a challenge from the AAP, which has launched a broad campaign starring Mr Kejriwal and other senior party leaders. Leaders of the Boss Party, however, said they were confident of victory and that its door-to-door campaign had been well received. The party warned voters against AAP and Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM, calling them the BJP’s “B team”.

However, the ruling BJP still has the advantage of a strong electoral mechanism and a broad support base. The Gujarat polls are also a battle of prestige between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, and the BJP will spare no effort to secure a victory in the state.

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