Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gujarat polls on Dec 13, 17

Ahmedabad: Gujarat will go to polls on December 13 and 17 in what is seen as a semi-final for chief minister Narendra Modi before the next general elections due in 2014. Assembly elections in Saurashtra and south Gujarat will be held in the first phase and central and north Gujarat in the second phase. 
    Counting of votes for all the 182 seats will be done on December 20, also the day when results of the Himachal Pradesh elections, which will be held on November 4, will be announced. Both states are ruled by the BJP but Gujarat is by far more important for both the BJP and Congress. It will be after a long gap that the state polls will feature a significant third force in the form of Keshubhai Patel’s Gujarat Parivartan Party, which is seeking to make significant inroads into the BJP vote-bank. 
    The announcement of dates brought a sigh of relief for the ruling BJP, which was dreading the prospect of facing elections in the second fortnight of November, when lakhs of Gujaratis turn tourists and travel around the country and abroad in an annual phenomenon witnessed post-Diwali. A majority of these travellers are urban voters who support Modi and the state government had already written to the Election Commission to avoid polls during this period. 

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