18th birthday on October 1? Gift is right to vote in Gujarat polls

Times of India | 1 month ago | 09-08-2022 | 07:54 am

18th birthday on October 1? Gift is right to vote in Gujarat polls

AHMEDABAD: If you are turning 18 on or before October 1, you will be eligible to vote in the state scheduled to be held later this year. P Bharathi, Gujarat's chief electoral officer, made the announcement while speaking to mediapersons on Monday. She said that people can register to vote online or at voting booths in their areas. Booth-level officers (BLOs) will visit the booths on four Sundays from August 21 to facilitate the process. "With the enrollment of first-time voters who turn 18 on October 1, the Election Commission is expecting to increase the number of first-time voters by 3-4 lakh," Bharathi said. "At present, there are 4.84 crore registered voters, of whom 2.50 crore are male and 2.34 crore are female. Moreover, 1,291 registered voters are from the third gender." A state election commission official said: "Even if a person is turning 18 on October 1 this year, he or she can register to vote." The official added: "The final and updated electoral roll will be declared on October 10." The official said that earlier turning 18 on January 1 was considered the cut-off point for voting eligibility. There has been a 16% decrease in the number of first-time voters, the 18-19 age group, in 2022 compared to 2012. The data from the electoral rolls shows there were 1.34 lakh first-time voters of the 18-19 age group in the year 2012, which dropped to 1.12 lakh in 2022. Over the past five years - from 2017 to 2022 - the decline in first-time voters has been 9.6%, from 1.24 lakh to 1.12 lakh this year. As for the current drive to update the electoral roll, officials said even those who want to get their names deleted from the voters' list or have an objection to the inclusion of any person's name in the list can raise the matter with the BLOs. Also, changes can be done on any of the four Sunday beginning from August 21, officials said. The state has decided to set up 51,782 polling booths for the forthcoming assembly elections.

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Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 day ago | 28-09-2022 | 06:00 am
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Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar on Tuesday said some “self-appointed astrologers” have declared dates of elections before his visit to Gujarat.Without taking his name, the CEC took a swipe at state BJP chief C R Paatil, who had said the Assembly polls may conclude by November-end, Kumar told reporters, “We take a decision on when to hold elections after taking into consideration all factors. Whenever the time comes, we inform the media and nobody else.”The CEC and a team of senior officials of the Election Commission of India (ECI) are in Gujarat to review the poll preparedness. Talking about the preparedness in Gujarat, the CEC said the ECI is working to connect more people through technology. The poll body has launched CVIGIL and KYC apps as well as Suvidha portal for candidates.The CEC said efforts are undertaken to encourage senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) to exercise their franchise. Out of the total 4.83 crore electors in Gujarat, 10.36 lakh voters are above the age of 80 while 11,842 are centenarians, he said, adding that the number of PWDs in the state is 4.13 lakh. He said, “We have asked collectors to send someone to the houses of centenarians to express gratitude and offer them respect.” The CEC said the last electoral rolls in Gujarat (before polls) will be published on October 10.For transparent and fair polls, the ECI will make provision for webcasting from over 50% of 5,178 polling booths in the state during the upcoming elections, he said. “We are taking very strong action in ensuring transparency in booths. These polling stations are identified as sensitive and critical booths,” Kumar said.Rajiv Kumar said the poll body will send booth-level officers (BLOs) to the residences of senior citizen voters who opt to vote from home. The process will be video-graphed. A similar facility will also be made for PWDs with over 40% disability.He said he has received some constructive suggestions from political parties, several of which such as web-casting of polling booths, not allowing candidates and party workers to ferry voters, and SOPs for poll code to ensure common citizens are not harassed will be implemented.About donations to political parties, the CEC said such donations should be disclosed. Candidates and political parties will be required to publish information regarding criminal antecedents in newspapers,he said.

CEC slams poll speculation even before his visit
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Times of India | 1 day ago | 28-09-2022 | 05:53 am
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The Indian Express | 2 days ago | 27-09-2022 | 12:35 am
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An Election Commission of India team led by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey arrived in Gujarat on a two-day visit on Monday, even as BJP state chief CR Paatil indicated at a page committee meeting of the party in Anand that the election process may be “completed by November end”.Assembly elections are due in Gujarat in December when the term of the 14th Legislative Assembly ends.In its last visit to review poll preparedness, before election dates are announced, the ECI team held a meeting with district election officials from 33 districts and senior police officers with regard to law and order situation in the state. The team also met representatives of national parties in Gujarat. On Tuesday, the team will meet chief secretary Pankaj Kumar and DGP Ashish Bhatia. Speaking at the page committee meeting, Paatil said, “I feel that the (Gujarat) elections will be completed by the end of November. 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AIMIM releases first list of 3 candidates for polls
The Indian Express | 2 days ago | 27-09-2022 | 12:35 am
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The All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Monday released the first list of three candidates for the Gujarat Assembly elections.State AIMIM president and former Congress MLA Sabir Kabuliwala will contest from the Jamalpur Khadia seat in Ahmedabad and the party’s Surat district president Wasim Qureshi from Surat East.AIMIM will also field its women’s wing president Kaushika Parmar from Danilimda in Ahmedabad. While Danilimda and Jamalpur Khadia seats have Congress MLAs, the Surat East seat belongs to BJP.Expressing confidence in winning the Assembly polls, Kabuliwala told The Indian Express, “This time we will fight elections without being part of any alliance. We have decided to field candidates on 45-50 seats. In Ahmedabad, our candidates will contest from Jamalpur Khadia, Vejalpur, Dariyapur, Danilimda, Bapunagar seats, while from Surat, we will put two candidates from Surat East and Limbayat. We have not yet decided on the seats in Vadodara and Rajkot cities and other areas, but we are working on it.”Stating that they want remove “misconception” that AIMIM is “B-team of BJP”, he added, “In Gujarat many Congress MLAs had switched over to BJP. The situation is same in Goa. We don’t see that AAP will win any of the seats. They have created a good environment but it will not get converted into votes… They are giving lollypop in terms of guarantee cards, people will not accept them.”Parmar, who will contest his first elections, said, “I have worked a lot for the public during the pandemic time. Everybody knows me personally. I will set up an election office soon.”Qureshi, who hails from Sikar district in Rajasthan and is into the real estate business said, “We have seen the support given to AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi during his visit to Surat on May 23 at Limbayat area. We will work hard and start mohalla meetings and door-to-door meetings, during our election campaign.”

AIMIM releases first list of 3 candidates for polls