Gujarat ready for second phase of elections; PM, Shah to vote
Gandhinagar : The second phase of elections in Gujarat on Thursday will see polling held for 93 assembly constituencies across 14 districts in northern and central regions of the state, with a host of VVIPs, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, descending on Ahmedabad to cast their vote.
Meanwhile, in the so-called 'dry' state of Gujarat, the police and administration have seized around Rs 53 crore worth of goods for violation of the state's liquor prohibition policy. The seizure was carried out as a special drive and a part of the election procedure.
Special deployment of the police has been made for the elections and for law and order.
The second phase will see 851 candidates contest for the 93 assembly seats. Elections will be held in Banaskantha, Patan, Sabarkantha, Mehsana, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Aravalli, Mahisagar, Panchmahal, Dahod, Kheda, Anand, Vadodara and Chhota Udepur districts from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. A total of 25,575 polling booths have been set up in 14,523 places.
The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Gujarat's office has completed all the necessary procedures and claimed to be fully prepared for the day.
Apart from the 112 general observers deployed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for the Gujarat elections, 70 counting observers have been appointed by the ECI for counting of votes registered in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) which will be carried out on December 18 in 37 selected regions of the state.
To take care of the law and order situation, the ECI has deployed hundreds of companies of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF), 12 companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and 19 more companies of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) for the election.
Prime Minister Modi will be casting his vote at Nishan Vidyalaya in Ranip area of Ahmedabad, while Amit Shah will be in the city to cast his vote from his former state assembly constituency, Naranpura. Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitely will cast his vote from Vejalpur region of Ahmedabad.
Former Deputy Prime Minister and senior BJP leader L.K. Advani too will be in Ahmedabad to cast his vote from Khanpur area. The sitting MLA from Abdasa and Congress candidate from Mandvi, Shaktisinh Gohil will be casting his vote in Gandhinagar.
State Congress President Bharatsinh Solanki will exercise his voting right in Borsad town of Kheda district. Another Congress candidate Siddharth Patel will be casting his vote from Dabhoi.
During elections in the second phase, 1,700 of the critical poling booths will be covered under the web casting with constant monitoring of these booths.
On the seizures made, Additional Director General of Police (DGP) adminstration, Mohan Jha said, "Since the date of announcement of the assembly polls, the administration has seized Rs 23.50 crore worth Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and Rs 30.06 lakh worth of country liquor and confiscated Rs 23.16 crore of other goods like the vehicles used for transportation, amounting to Rs 52.97 crore worth for the violation of the prohibition law that is effective in the state. We have also arrested 26,913 persons for violation of prohibition in 33,191 cases."
Jha said, "Under the law, the police have filed 1,59,486 cases under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Out of the total 56, 490 licensed arms in the state, 51,974 have submitted, while 4,436 are exempted with remaining only 80 arms that have not been submitted. The police have issued non bailable warrants to 60,989 persons and also confiscated 92 illegal arms, 122 cartridges and 100 grams of explosives."
The Flying Squad and the Static Surveillance Teams (SST) have seized Rs 2.52 crore of unaccounted cash in 22 cases and in five cases bullion worth Rs 4.14 crore have been seized. Out of these 16 cases have been handed over to the Income Tax (IT) department.