South Gujarat along with Saurashtra and Kutch is in the first phase of the State Legislative elections to be held on December 1. The counting of votes will be held simultaneously with Himachal Pradesh on December 8.
For the first time, the ECI announced that the electors will be able to identify the candidates from the political parties for whom they are voting. ECI has prescribed an additional measure by way of adding the provision for printing the photograph of candidates on the ballot paper to be displayed on the EVM (Ballot Unit) and Postal Ballot Papers. This will help avoid any confusion, which may arise when candidates with the same or similar names contest from the same constituency.
For this purpose, the candidates are required to submit to the Returning Officer, their recent Stamp Size photograph as per the specifications laid down by the Commission.
South Gujarat which consists of Narmada, Bharuch, Surat, Tapi, Dangs, Valsad, and Navsari has a total of 35 Assembly seats. Surat has the highest number of 16 Assembly seats followed by 5 seats each in Valsad and Bharuch, 2 in Narmada, and one seat in Dangs.
The BJP has faced marginal loss in south Gujarat which includes the business hub of Surat. The BJP won 25 of 35 seats in south Gujarat compared to 28 won in 2012. The Congress improved its tally from 6 to 10. The others failed to win any seat here. Last time one seat went to others.