On 3/11/2022 Election Commission announced dates for Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections. Voting is on 1/12/2022 and 5/12/2022 and counting is on 8/12/2022, same day as of Himachal Pradesh.
Election Commission had announced Himachal Pradesh election schedule on 14/10/2022. Voting is on 12/11/2022. It is not fair that people of Himachal Pradesh have to wait for 26 days to know the results while in Gujarat it is 7 days or 3 days.
Election Commission has come out with many excuses for delay in announcing Gujarat election schedule. Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar mentioned availability of security forces, weather and days of Model Code of Conduct. He also mentioned Morbi bridge collapse and state mourning till 2/11/2022. Reason is Narendra Modi had his programmes and visits and Election Commission waited for them to be over. In 2017 also it happened. That time Arun Jaitley was Finance Minister of India and changes were made to Goods and Services Tax rates and rules to suit Gujarati business persons.
Rajiv Kumar mentioned term of Gujarat Assembly ends on 18/2/2023. That being the case Gujarat election schedule should have been announced in the beginning of January 2023. Term of Himachal Pradesh Assembly ends on 8/1/2023 and its election schedule should have been announced in the beginning of December 2022. There is no need to club multiple elections together and, in some cases, it is unfair to legislators who do not get full five-year term.
It is three-way contest between AAP, BJP and Congress in Gujarat. Isudan Gadhvi is AAP’s Chief Ministerial candidate. He was selected based on an opinion poll. It is said he got 73% of votes out of around 16 lakh votes which were by SMS, WhatsApp, e-mail and voice mail. Bhagwant Mann was choses that way in Punjab and AAP won. Isudan Gadhvi was unknown outside Gujarat. He was a TV journalist and was familiar to people of Gujarat. TV persons have advantage of recognition.
Bhupendra Patel is BJP’s CM candidate. In September 2021 all ministers were changed in Gujarat. Congress has not announced any CM candidate.
Morbi bridge collapse on 30/10/2022 will be an issue in Gujarat election. AAP has promised freebies. BJP has its record of 27 years. Congress has promised free healthcare up to 10 lakh rupees.