Ahmedabad: The Election Commission on Wednesday declared as "critical" close to 30 per cent of total polling stations in Gujarat where elections will be held in two phases next month, a top officer said.
"The election commission has identified close to 30 per cent of polling stations as critical or vulnerable and steps have been taken to ensure that voting is peaceful and fair at these stations," Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer Anita Karwal said.
87 Assembly constituencies will go to polls in the first phase on December 13 and rest 95 on December 17.
She said 181 general observers will be deployed in the state after nomination papers are filed on the last date.
"Besides, 28 police observers, mostly of IG and DIG rank from different states, have been appointed for peaceful conduct of polls," Karwal said, adding two police observers each have been appointed for Ahmedabad city and rural and Surat city and rural.
The general observers are IAS officers with the senior-most officer of the 1983 batch and least junior of 2003 batch, Karwal said.
General observers will monitor the entire election process like booth arrangements, enforcement of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and counting, the officer said.
For the first phase of elections, forty expenditure observers have also been appointed to monitor poll-related expenses of candidates and paid news-related activities, Karwal said.
The observers will keep a tab on randomisation of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and polling officers` training, voter awareness etc, she added.