Aiming at greater participation of women in the electoral process, the Election Commission (EC) has decided to set up one “pink polling booth” — to be completely managed by women officials — in each of the 182 assembly constituencies of Gujarat in the upcoming state polls. “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,” said B B Swain, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Gujarat.
At all 182 pink booths — which will be among 48,000 polling stations across the state — all those in charge of conducting elections like presiding officer, three polling officers, micro observers and security personnel will be women. “These booths will have a team of 10-11 women personnel,” Swain added.
Asked the reason for setting up pink polling booths, which will remain open for male electorates as well, the EC officer said it is a symbolic gesture as they attach a lot of importance to gender parity.
Of the total 4.25 crore voters in Gujarat, there are 2.03 crore women voters.
The EC is also planning to set up auxiliary booths for physically-challenged voters. “We are planning to put up auxiliary booths for disabled voters. We are trying to locate the big institutions for disabled in Gujarat where we can set up the auxiliary booths,” the officer added.