Assembly elections Current Affairs - 2020

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President’s rule imposed in Maharashtra

Due to a stalemate over government formation after assembly polls in the state of Maharashtra, President’s rule was imposed. The rule was imposed according to Article 356(1)

President’s rule has been imposed in the state for the third time in its history since its formation in 1960.

Article 356(1)

If the President receives a report from the governor of the state and is satisfied that a situation has arisen where the State Government cannot preside its duties according to the provisions of the constitution, he may by Proclamation

  • Assume to himself the functions of the State Government
  • May vest certain powers on the Governor or other body or authority other than the State Legislature
  • Declare that the powers of the State Legislature is exercisable under the authority of the Parliament

Previous President’s Rules

  • The first President rule was declared in the state in 1980. This is was because the then PM Smt Indira Gandhi dismissed the PDF (Progressive Democratic Front) headed by Sharad Pawar.
  • The second President’s rule was imposed in 2014 when Prithvi Raj Chavan resigned as Chief Minister losing support from an ally NCP.

Though there has been President’s rule due to political reasons in the state, this is the first time, President rule is imposed due to inability of the political parties to form a government.

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Gujarat to be first big state to use EVMs with VVPAT

Gujarat will become first big state to use Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) equipped with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in coming Assembly elections to make election process more transparent.

It was announced by Election Commission of India. Gujarat will be second state after Goa to use VVPAT system for the Assembly elections in entire state.

The VVPATs will cover all 50,128 polling booths during 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections. As many as 70,182 VVPAT machines will be used during election elections. Earlier, VVPATs were used on pilot basis in limited polling booths of state in 2012 elections.

Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)

The VVPAT is a method that provides feedback to voters after they cast their votes in EVMs. It is independent verification printer machine attached to EVMs. It allows voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate. Thus, ensure free and fair elections.

In the VVPAT system, when voter presses button for candidate of his choice in EVM, a paper slip containing serial number, name of candidate and poll symbol will be printed for voter. The paper slip will be only visible to voter from glass case in VVPAT for seven seconds, after that slip will be cut and dropped into drop box in VVPAT machine. VVPAT machines can be accessed by polling officers only.

Purpose of VVPAT

VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for EVM designed to (i) allow voters to verify that their votes are casted correctly, (ii) detect possible election fraud or malfunction and (iii) Provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.

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