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Assembly polls in Gujarat, HP likely in Nov-Dec

Assembly elections are likely to be held in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh by the end of November and early December.

New Delhi: Assembly elections are likely to be held in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh by the end of November and early December.

It is likely to be a two-phased poll in Gujarat like the last elections in 2007 while in Himachal Pradesh it could be in a single-phase this time, Commission sources said.

The Commission is currently holding deliberations with officials of the two states and other agencies before finalising the election schedule.

"We are currently holding deliberations with the poll officials of the concerned states and others involved. The Commission may continue with the tradition of a two-phased polling in Gujarat, keeping in view the sensitivity of the state," highly-placed Commission sources told a news agency.

Elections in the two states are due by January next as the term of the current assemblies of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh ends on January 17 and 10 respectively.

While Gujarat has 182 assembly constituencies, 13 of which are reserved for SCs and 26 for STs, Himachal Pradesh has 68 assembly constituencies, with 17 reserved for SCs and 3 for STs.

Sources also said there is no proposal to link the assembly elections in north-eastern states of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura with those in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh as they are due only in March next year.

Fearing use of money power in Gujarat, the Commission is engaged in identifying the number of "expenditure sensitive" constituencies in Gujarat.

"We are currently in the process of identifying such constituencies in Gujarat where the use of money power is expected to be more," said the sources.

There are no such constituencies in Himachal but the Commission will continue to deploy expenditure observers there too to keep a check on the use of money power.


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