The state of Gujarat has been facing the slew of politically laced speeches and caste centric rhetoric ever since the election dates were declared.
Gujarat Assembly elections are scheduled on 9 and 14 December.
The election will see about 4.35 crore voters exercising their vote, of which 2.26 crore are male and remaining 2.08 crore female and 702 third gender.
A total of 50,264 polling stations including one all-women polling booth in each constituency have been setup. All booths will have EVM machines with VVPATs.
To ensure that all the electorate are able to exercise their vote in a free and fair manner the onus to create an environment, where people can come and vote without any fear is upon the Election Commission.
To assess the situation after taking an overall view of the security and sensitivity of every region, about 45 per cent of the overall 50,128 polling stations have been identified as being ‘vulnerable’ or ‘sensitive’ and need to be provided with extra security personnel and infrastructure support.
A detailed report has been prepared by the district authorities with the commission, which has observed 15 per cent increase in ‘sensitive’ marked seats than the last Assembly Elections in 2012. The reason sighted for this increase is the ‘Patidar’ agitation and Dalit atrocities which the state has witnessed recently.
Around 23,500 booths which have been marked as sensitive have been further marked into sub-categories as ‘very sensitive’, ‘sensitive’ and ‘less sensitive’ booths. The majority of these fall into the category of ‘very sensitive’ election booths and largely fall in the areas which have witnessed agitations and anti-government demonstrations by Patidars, Dalits, and Thakors.
To avert any untoward situation the Election Commission (EC) has taken steps to ensure security for all by asking for extra security forces to be deployed across sensitive regions to maintain law and order.
The EC is using the State Police personnel, the CRPF and the Paramilitary Forces for ensuring full proof security and apart from these, extra security personnel have also been procured from the neighbouring states.
The EC has also planned to monitor very sensitive booths through webcasting directly from their office and has set up a multi-level monitoring structure across all the booths