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Will ensure fair, transparent polls in Gujarat: EC


The Election Commission (EC) on Sunday said it has directed the election machinery in Gujarat to ensure effective monitoring and comprehensive planning for "free, fair and transparent" polls in the state.

Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti

The EC reviewed poll preparations in Gujarat over the last two days.

Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti told reporters that the state election machinery had been directed to ensure effective monitoring, vigilance and planning to address concerns of political parties and instill confidence in the electorate.

Joti said the EC is also considering suggestions made by political parties.

Various political parties demanded that officers be not posted in the same booth where they were posted in 2012, he said.

A political party demanded that jammers be installed at strong rooms and polling stations, and EVMs and voter-verified paper audit trails (VVPATs) are demonstrated to them after candidate settings, he said.

A party also demanded that the clause of punishment to voter be removed in case his complaint regarding wrong recording of vote in VVPAT turns out to be incorrect.

"The Commission took note of the concerns and suggestions of the parties and assured them that it would put in place an effective mechanism to ensure smooth conduct of the entire poll process," the CEC said.

There are 4.35 crore voters in the state, including 2.26 crore male, 2.08 crore female and 702 third gender.

A total 17.46 lakh new voters have been added, of which 12.37 lakh are in the 18-19 age group, he said.

Joti said the names of 8.39 lakh voters have been deleted and copies of final rolls have been given to all recognised political parties.

Elections will be held at 50,264 polling stations including one all-women polling booth in each constituency, Joti said, adding EVM machines with VVPATs will be used everywhere.

He said officials concerned had been directed to ramp up security and expenditure monitoring.

According to the CEC, Rs 1.94 crore in cash, liquor worth Rs 21.91 crore, drugs and precious metalsworth Rs 8.17 crore have been seized so far.

Gujarat will vote in two phases -- on December 9 and 14 to elect a new 182-member Assembly. The counting of votes will take place on December 18.


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