Gujarat elections to be held in December; polling to be done through VVPAT machines, says CEC Achal Kumar Jyoti

Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Jyoti, on Tuesday, said that the Gujarat elections will be held by year end and VVPAT machines will be used to conduct polls after the controversy over the Electronic Voting Machines.

In a series of instructions ahead of the Assembly elections, the Election Commission has asked the state authorities to provide cashless facilities to all polling staff.

Jyoti also said that all weapon holders will have to deposit their licensed weapons with concerned SHO or police station during the election season and they can get them back only once the polling is over.

The press conference comes a day after the election commissioner met registered political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. Jyoti is on a visit to the state to review the preparedness ahead of the Assembly election due later this year.

Joti also said that voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) system will be used in over 50,000 booths in Gujarat. He said that paper slips will be counted at a single booth in each 182 constituencies to tally the number of slips and the votes cast.

For the first time, the poll panel will also introduce all-women polling stations in Gujarat in all Assembly segments.

The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had earlier voiced a demand for a random count of the VVPAT slips and that it be digitally established whether the VVPAT machines were working properly.

The BJP demanded that the polls be held after 14 December, as the period between 5 December and 14 December is considered auspicious for marriages.

The Congress also demanded that tainted officers be debarred from being deployed on election duty and that those on poll duty were made to cast their votes during their election training sessions.

The CEC also flagged off a mobile EVM-VVPAT Demonstration Centre, which would go to all the Assembly segments of Gandhinagar to raise awareness about the VVPAT machines.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Nov 23, 2017 19:34 PM

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