While the winter steadily sets in and temperatures continue their falling spree, the political mercury has started to rise with Election Commission (EC), on Saturday, announcing notification for the first phase of state assembly polls on December 13.
With the election process formally set in motion, all political parties and candidates will come under the direct scrutiny of the commission now onwards.
Notification has been issued for polls in 87 assembly constituencies in 15 districts of state which will be go to poll in the first phase on December 13. Of the 87 constituencies in the first phase, 48 are in Saurashtra region, 35 in South Gujarat and four in Ahmedabad rural area.
As this will be the first assembly election post delimitation, all political parties have been forced to revise their poll strategies with the altered caste and community equations in each segment.
More than 1.80 crore voters in all the districts of Saurashtra and South Gujarat will exercise their voting right at 21,261 polling stations in the first phase. Most of the political parties are likely to announce their candidates by November 21.
“Generally main political parties wait for their rival parties to announce their candidates first so that they can field their candidates accordingly. It allows them to keep all potential candidates in the dark till the last day for the filing of nomination. But now, with candidates having to file affidavits with relevant details, parties have been forced to announce the name one or two before last day of filing nomination,” said sources in the office of district election officer, Ahmedabad.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gujarat, Anita Karwal gave details about the first phase of election. The last date for filing the nomination is November 24. Scrutiny of nomination forms is scheduled for November 26 while last date for withdrawal of nomination is November 28. Voting for the phase 1 will take place on December 13.