Gujarat local body elections: 1.14 crore voters to cast vote in six major cities today

Voting in the six municipal firms — Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, Surat, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar — of the state might be held Sunday, the outcomes for which might be declared Tuesday. The elections to the civic firms had been due in December final yr, however had been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Round 1.14 crore voters are anticipated to cast their votes at 144 wards with a complete 575 seats throughout the six cities. This time, the cities are going to polls after having expanded their geographical limits and thus with an elevated voter base. The BJP was in energy in all these municipal firms.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who was identified with Covid-19 on Monday and has been present process remedy at UN Mehta Hospital in Ahmedabad, will cast his vote in Rajkot, whereas BJP’s state president C R Paatil, who’s an MP from Navsari seat, might be voting in Surat.

For the primary time the Aam Aadmi Celebration (AAP), based by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and Asaduddin Owaisi-led All Indian Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) are contesting in the local body elections in the state.

Gujarat polls

This yr, the BJP’s marketing campaign had largely focussed on the development of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, the abrogation of Article 370 that granted particular standing to Jammu & Kashmir, and the Statue of Unity. The Congress, alternatively, has promised a ‘GujRight’ card in its manifesto that will give entry to residents to all public facilities. In Vadodara, the get together had kicked up a storm when it introduced ‘date locations’ and low outlets for youth, girls, and college students to meet up, with the BJP calling it an “Italian mindset”, in a veiled dig on the get together’s president.

Final yr, because the state was ‘unlocking’ throughout the pandemic, the Congress had appointed the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) founder Hardik Patel as its working president. The BJP, in the meantime, appointed Paatil, who has roots in Maharashtra, as its state chief.

In 2015, the elections to not solely the municipal firms but additionally the municipalities and the panchayats had been influenced by the quota agitation led by Hardik that noticed a major swing in the votes in direction of the Congress — the influence of which was most felt in the Surat Municipal Company, the place the Congress’s seat share went up to 36 from the 14 it had received in 2010. Twenty-six of those 36 seats had been in the Patidar-dominated areas.

The AAP, which appointed former PAAS member Gopal Italia as its state president, has 469 candidates in the fray from 144 wards in six cities and one from Junagadh seat. The AIMIM has 21 candidates, of whom 4 are former corporators and two are non-Muslims.

The Nationalist Congress Celebration (NCP), which is an ally of the Congress in Maharashtra, has fielded 28 candidates in Rajkot, and 10 in Jamnagar. NCP has additionally fielded two on the as many seats going to bypolls in Junagadh.

This yr, the BJP has received uncontested on one seat in Naranpura ward of the Ahmedabad Municipal Company after the lone opponent, the Congress, withdrew its candidate.

Until 2010, every ward had three seats, with one reserved for a girl corporator as per the 33 per cent quota, which was raised to 50 per cent in 2015 and the variety of seats per ward had been raised to 4.

With the elections being held in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, the State Election Fee (SEC) has launched some particular preparations. The timing of voting has been scheduled between 7 am and 6 pm, whereas a particular customary working process (SOP) has additionally been introduced for Covid-19 optimistic sufferers to cast their votes. Such sufferers, who’re prepared to cast their votes, can achieve this solely between 5 pm and 6 pm whereas adhering to the SOP which embrace intimating the nodal officer and returning officer involved of their Covid-19 optimistic standing 24 hours in advance and acquiring a health certificates from an MBBS or above physician. A Covid-19 affected person additionally has to put on a PPE package at his/her personal price whereas going to vote.

The foundations of the SEC for voting additionally embrace thermal screenings of each voter at every sales space. Sporting of masks can be obligatory, however the employees on election responsibility can ask an individual to take away the identical to verify true identification earlier than voting.

(With inputs from ENS Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot)

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