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Gujarat goes to polls on Dec 13, 17; Himachal Pradesh on Nov 4

Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath said that Gujarat will have two-phase polls on December 13 and 17.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Wednesday announced a two-phase schedule for Gujarat Assembly Elections, while Himachal Pradesh will go to polls in a single phase.

Addressing a press conference here, Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath said that Gujarat will have two-phase polls on December 13 and 17.

According to the CEC, Himachal Pradesh will have single-phase polling on November 4.

Counting of votes in both the states will be held on December 20.

With the announcement of poll dates, the model code of conduct has come into effect in both the states.

"The Model Code of Conduct has come into operation from this very moment (with the announcement of polls). The EC will enforce it strictly and will monitor all activities related to the elections in these states," Sampath said.

These will be the most important state elections since Uttar Pradesh, India`s most populous state, voted in February-March this year, along with Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur.

Both Himachal Pradesh (68 seats) and Gujarat (182 seats) are ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party, with the Congress desperate to dislodge it.

"We are making foolproof security arrangements in both states by deploying adequate strength of central police forces," he said.

Armed police forces from other states would also be deployed in the two states.

Sampath said there would be strict monitoring of expenditure incurred by political parties and candidates as well as "paid news".

He said all candidates would be required to open separate bank accounts and incur expenditure only from these accounts.

The Election Commission, Sampath said, expects "the highest standards" of conduct and neutrality in election work from officials.

"Their work will be under constant watch and scrutiny." He added that the model code of conduct for political parties would be strictly enforced.

Sampath said the polling dates had been determined after taking into account climatic conditions, particularly in Himachal, academic calendar, festivals, law and order, and availability of security forces.

Detailed poll schedule:


First Phase:

Issue of Notification: Nov 17

Last date for filing nominations: Nov 24

Scrutiny of nomination: Nov 26

Last date for withdrawal of nomination: Nov 28

Date of polling: Dec 13

Date of counting: Dec 20

Second Phase:

Issue of Notification: Nov 23

Last date for filing nominations: Nov 30

Scrutiny of nomination: Dec 1

Last date for withdrawal of nomination: Dec 3

Date of polling: Dec 17

Date of counting: Dec 20

Himachal Pradesh:

Issue of Notification: October 10

Last date for filing nominations: October 17

Scrutiny of nomination: October 18

Last date for withdrawal of nomination: October 20

Date of polling: November 4

Date of counting: Dec 20

The Commission finalised the schedule for the Assembly polls in the two states in its full meeting chaired by CEC Sampath and attended by Election Commissioners H S Brahma and Nasim Zaidi and other officials this morning.

Elections in the two states ought to have been held by January next as the terms of the current Assemblies of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh end 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 seats, with 17 reserved for SCs and 3 for STs.

Speaking about some unique features of these elections, Sampath informed that Shyam Saran, the oldest man in India, will vote from Kalpa in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district. He had cast his vote in the first elections in independent India in October 1951.

Also, the highest polling station is, polling booth number 72, at Lahul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh.

Further, a village in Gujarat near Gir has only one voter – Guru Bharat Das.

(With Agency inputs)

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