The Election Commission will set up a ‘pink’ polling booth to be completely managed by women officials in each of the 182 constituencies of Gujarat during the upcoming Assembly polls. The move is aimed at ensuring greater participation of women in the election process.
“Gujarat will be the first state to have all-women polling booths in each of the assembly constituencies. Goa had recently experimented with one pink booth,” chief electoral officer of Gujarat BB Swain said.
Women will carry out the roles of presiding officers, polling officers, micro observers, and security personnel at roughly around 48,000 polling stations in the state. The booths will have around 10-11 women as poll personnel. When asked about the reason behind the move, the electoral officer said that the Election Commission attached great importance to gender parity.
It should be noted that out of 4.25 crore voters in Gujarat, a total of 2.03 crore happen to be women. Adding further, Swain told The Indian Express that the poll panel was also planning to set up auxiliary booths for the physically challenged voters.
“We are planning to set up auxiliary booths for the disabled voters. We are eyeing locations in the state wherein such booths can be set up,” the chief electoral officer told the news website.
Gujarat is expected to go to polls in December this year. The official notification by the Election Commission is likely to be issued around November and the results will be announced in January. The Bharatiya Janata Party has been ruling the state since October 2001. During the 16-year-rule, the state witnessed three chief ministers in Narendra Modi, Anandiben Patel and the incumbent Vijay Rupani at the helm of affairs.
Modi governed the state for 13 years before vacating his seat to become the Prime Minister after the BJP emerged victorious in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He was succeeded by Anandiben Patel, who was the CM from 2014 to 2016 before being replaced by Vijay Rupani.