New Delhi, Oct 3
Assembly elections in Gujarat will be held in two phases on December 13 and 17 while the 68-member Himachal Pradesh will go to the polls on November 4, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath announced today.
Mr Sampath told a news conference that a total of 87 seats will go to the polls in the first phase, while 95 seats will see polling in the second phase for the 182-member Gujarat Assembly.
Counting of votes in both the states is slated for December 20.
Date of notification for the Himachal polls is October 10 and the last date of filing nominations is October 17.
With the announcement of poll dates, the model code of conduct has come into force immediately in both the states.
The Commission finalised the schedule for the Assembly polls in the two states in its full meeting chaired by CEC Sampath and attended by Election Commissioners H S Brahma and Nasim Zaidi and other officials this morning.
The poll watchdog has already held consultations with the Home Ministry for deployment of central security forces during the elections and with revenue officials for checking the misuse of money power.
More than 35,000 personnel from central paramilitary forces and around 55,000 from state police are likely to be deployed for the Gujarat polls. Around 9,000 personnel from paramilitary forces and 14,000 from state police are likely to be deployed for Himachal Pradesh elections.
Fearing use of money power in Gujarat, the Commission is engaged in identifying the number of ‘expenditure sensitive’ constituencies in Gujarat.
Elections in the two states ought to have been held by January next as the terms of the current Assemblies of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh end on January 17 and 10 respectively.
While Gujarat has 13 seats reserved for SCs and 27 for STs, Himachal Pradesh has 17 reserved for SCs and 3 for STs.
Gujarat will have 44,496 polling stations while in Himachal 7,252 polling stations will be set up. Gujarat has 3.78 crore voters, while Himachal has 45.16 lakh electors.
Claiming that it has performed extraordinary in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the BJP today expressed confidence that the party will comeback in both states in the upcoming Assembly elections.
The Election Commission today announced that elections to Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases on December 13 and December 17, while elections in Himachal Pradesh will be held on November 4.
“Gujarat under the leadership of Narendra Modi and Himchal Pradesh under the leadership of Prem Kumar Dhumal have performed extraordinary. The BJP has establised good governance and development in both the states,” BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters.
He said the governance in both states was at its ‘best’ and there was high economic growth rate in these BJP-ruled states.
“There is high growth rate, high industrial production, high agriculture rate and employment. With the blessings of the people, our party will comeback in both the states,” he added.
Sonia launches poll campaign in Gujarat
Rajkot, Oct 3: Congress President Sonia Gandhi today targeted the BJP for stalling Parliament over the Lokpal bill and blamed them for speaking about corruption when they were involved in it.
Ms Gandhi kicked off her party’s election campaign for the upcoming assembly elections here at the Race course grounds by addressing a public rally soon after her arrival here. The Congress President said her party has taken several steps against those involved in corruption, while the BJP did nothing and even in Gujarat, they had not appointed Lokayukta. ‘’Why did they not do this? CAG also exposed the corruption in Gujarat, but Modi government did not take steps against anyone,’’ she said.
She said the Congress was concerned for the farmers, dalits and Aam Aadmi and several schemes for their uplift were taken up by the UPA Government. Concerned over the recent farmers’ suicide incidents in Gujarat, due to crop failure, the Congress president said her government would do everything for them and asked the Gujarat Government to send the survey of the crop failure in the state so that the UPA government could pass the Insurance money immediately. She praised the people of Gujarat, who made progress with their own skill and hard work, indirectly targeting the Modi Government which claimed they had done much for the development of the state.
Ms Gandhi said the water scheme of Narmada was made possible
by the Congress which was named as Sardar Sarovar
Yojana, but regretted that Saurashtra’s farmers and people have
still not received the Narmada water even after a decade.
The Congress president took the credit for sowing the seeds of
development in the state. She said the BJP claimed that Central
government was not providing financial assistance to the state,
but she refuted Mr Modi’s statement that UPA government had given
50 per cent more to Gujarat than the NDA government.
Refusing to comment on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi raising the issue of foreign trips of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the Congress today described the BJP as synonymous with ‘double speak’.
Talking to reporters here, Congress spokesperson P C Chacko said,”BJP means the synonym of double speak.
Wild allegations is the trend of Modi’s campaign. I don’t think it deserves a comment.” Charging Modi of speaking a ‘blatant lie’, Mr Chacko said, “it was a cheap gimmick for publicity and a stunt in the wake of the upcoming Assembly polls in Gujarat.” On a question on the announcement of the poll schedule for Gujarat election wherein elections to the state Assembly will be held in two phases, on December 13 and 17, Mr Chacko said, “we welcome the announcement and are ready for the elections as the two BJP-ruled states are going to test the mood of the people.” Denying that the election in Gujarat would be a Sonia Vs Modi battle, he said, “we are not in favour of targeting any individual. We are opposed to the anti-people policies of the Gujarat Government.” Asked if the party would announce any chief Ministerial candidate for the Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh (where the assembly polls are scheduled on November 4), he said, “we are not going to announce any chief Ministerial candidate in the states going for polls. It will be a post-poll decision by the high-command.” Earlier today, lashing out at Mr Modi for raising the issue of Ms Gandhi’s foreign trips, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said that by raising the issue, the Gujarat Chief Minister was trying to deflect attention from main issues.
“Modi’s focus is malafide as he does not apply the same norms on himself. His office is not replying to the RTI filed,” Mr Tewari said.
The Congress spokesperson said that Mr Modi was trying to deflect attention from the main issues like the economic situation in Gujarat.
“Modi is trying to deflect attention from issues like the 17 scams that have happened in Gujarat and the condition of women in the state,” Mr Tewari said.
Addressing a rally in Jesar earlier this week, Mr Modi said, “to those Congress friends, who are accusing our government of uncontrolled expenditure, I want to ask: is it not true that on the foreign travels of the President of the Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, in the past three years, Rs 1,880 crore has been spent from the public exchequer.” Later, however, an RTI activist disputed the claims of the Gujarat Chief Minister that Rs 1880 crore of public money was spent on Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s foreign trips.