Gujarat Assembly Elections, 2017

As the tenure of the current legislative assembly in Gujarat expires in December 2017, assembly elections will be held in the state again towards the end of 2017 or January, 2018. The dates will be announced officially by the Election Commission of India few months prior to it.

In the last assembly elections, the BJP won convincingly while the Congress emerged the runner-up. Narendra Modi returned to power to serve a third consecutive term as chief minister of the state. After his grand victory in the 2014 parliamentary elections and subsequent elevation as the Prime Minister of India, the chief minister's post went to Anandiben Patel. She became the first female chief minister of Gujarat. However, Anandiben resigned from the post within two years purportedly due to her failure in handling the situation in the state during the Patidars and Dalit agitation. Hardik Patel, the face of the intense Patidar agitation, has since become an increasingly important political force to reckon with. The opposition Congress as well as Aam Aadmi Party are trying to rope him in to give a boost to their campaign to dethrone the BJP in Gujarat. It is worth mentioning here that the Patel community holds an important place in the state's electorate. Needless to say, losing Gujarat to Congress would be a big setback for the BJP ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections which it will try to avoid at all costs. This is because Gujarat has become a BJP bastion over the years and the state also happens to be the home ground of the present prime minister of India, BJP leader Narendra Modi. Evidently, there is a lot in stake for the main contenders including the Congress, BJP and AAP, in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections, 2017.

About Gujarat Elections

The legislature of this state is unicameral and the parliamentary constituency is 26. The population of this state more than 60,000,000. The official language of this state is Gujarati and the other languages spoken by the people are English and Hindi. This is a diverse state which is home to people of different castes like Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism and Zoroastrianism. The major cities of this state include Ahmadabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnanagar.

This state in considered to be the most traditional state in India from the point of view of politics. Both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party are very traditional compared to any other state. Once our country got its Independence in the year 1947, the Congress Party ruled the state of Bombay, which included Maharashtra and also the present Gujarat. Even after the establishment of this state in the year 1960, the Congress Government continued to rule. The Congress Government continued to hold the Government till the year 1995. But during the election of the year 1995, the Congress Government lost against Bharatiya Janata Party and the person to rule was Keshubhai Patel, who led the Government for 2 years. During that time, there was a fall in the Government which was motivated by a split in the Bharatiya Janata Party which was led by Shankersinh Vagheland. In the year 2001 the power was yielded by Narendra Modi and he has been leading this state till date.

Since the formation of this state, there have been 14 Chief Ministers appointed. To conduct the electoral process successfully, the office of the chief Electoral officer of the state of Gujarat would appoint an additional chief electoral officer under him and in turn he would appoint an under-secretary, a Deputy Chief Electoral officer and a deputy collector. The Deputy Chief Electoral officer would appoint the section officer and the section officer would have Deputy Section officer under him.

Administrative structure

Gujarat Legislative Assembly consists of 182 members. Out of 182 constituencies 13 are reserved for scheduled castes and 27 for scheduled tribes. The Assembly has a speaker who presides over the meetings. The Chief Minister is the head of the Legislature. The Governor is appointed by the President of India.

Issues of the state

Tribals: The socio-economic condition of the tribals that constitute 15% of the state's population have worsened in last few years. This is due to the forest policies leading to deforestation and non-development. Tribals who ones were integral part of the forest are now looked upon as casual labourers. They are forced to work below minimum wage rates, live in unhygienic conditions and women are exploited sexually.

Social Discrimination: Socially marginalised communities are engaged in occupations like manual scavenging, leatherwork, skinning dead animals etc. Social discrimination may seem to have disappeared but it is still prominent in small towns. Those belonging to the Dalit communities are discriminated in districts like Anand and Banaskantha.

Child Labour: The issue is very prominent in the state of Gujarat. Child labourers are found in almost all the industries of the state. The government has not been able to implement CLPRA(Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act) effectively.

Political Parties in Gujarat

Main National political parties in Gujarat
The Indian National Congress (INC) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

 

The main regional parties in Gujarat
Bharatiya Rashtravadi Paksha Gujarat Adijati Vikash PakshGujarat State Janta Congress

 

 

Election Date: 9 and 14 December
Results Date: 18 December

 

 

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INDIA, being the largest democracy, attracts worldwide attention in every aspect. Be it it's culture or the people. Forthcoming General Elections 2017, especially, has the world's eyes on it. Keeping in mind the immense interest generated, we at "Tourism Development Corporation" are providing packages under our especially designed campaign - "Election Tourism India 2017". The visitors will have an opportunity to explore our vibrant democracy accommodating different cultures, the workings of various national/state political parties and can be part of their election rallies too. I look forward to welcoming all.

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