The Himachal Pradesh assembly elections will be held on November 9 and counting of votes will take place on December 18, the Election Commision announced on Thursday.
It is the first times that VVPAT machines will be used in a state assembly elections, the step was taken by the election commision after the uproar by Opposition parties over the alleged use of faulty EVMs in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
The last date for filing nominations will be October 23 while the scrutiny and withdrawal of nominations will be allowed till October 24.
With the announcement of dates and schedule of the assembly polls, the model code of conduct also came into effect in Himachal Pradesh from Thursday itself.
The Election Commission will also post an expenditure observers to monitor election expenses during Himachal Pradesh polls, each candidate will be allowed to spend Rs 28 Lakh for his campaign.
However, the commission didn't announce the dates for Gujarat assembly polls but the election in PM Modi's home state shall be held prior to 18 December, which will enable simultaneous counting of votes in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.
The legislative assembly tenures of Gujarat and Himachal shall end in January 2018. While the term of the 182-member Gujarat Assembly ends on January 22, the term of the 68-member HP Assembly ends on January 7.
The election campaign in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh have already begun with both BJP and Congress indulging in a war of words. BJP launched its election campaign in Gujarat with "Gaurav Yatra" while Congress took on the ruling party with its "Navsarjan Yatra".
Here are the live updates from the press conference of CEC:
# Date of issue of gazette notification - October 16, 2017, Last date for filing nominations - October 23, 2017, Last date of scrutiny and withdrawal of nominations - October 24, 2017, Date of polling: November 9, 2017, Counting of votes: 18 December, 2017, Completion of elections - 20 December, 2017
# Assembly elections in Gujarat will be held prior to 18 December, which will enable simultaneous counting of votes in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.
# Himachal Pradesh assembly elections will be held on November 9, counting of votes to take place on December 18.
Himachal Pradesh assembly elections to be held on 9 November and counting of votes to be on 18 December: Election Commission pic.twitter.com/kz8uaJnxkb— ANI (@ANI) October 12, 2017
# Expenditure observers to be posted to monitor election expenses during Himachal Pradesh polls, each candidate will be allowed to spend Rs 28 Lakh for his election campaign.
# Bulk SMSes & voice messages on phone shall also be in purview of election advertisements: Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Jyoti
# Increased the size of screen on VVPAT machines to 10 cm by 5.6 cm for the voters to able to verify their vote easily: CEC
# It will for the first time in a state that VVPATs will be used at all polling stations
# Voting will be done through VVPATs at all the polling stations in Himachal Pradesh
# Model code of conduct comes into effect in Himachal Pradesh from now onwards.
# All the polling stations will be on ground floor.
# A total 7521 of polling stations to be set up in Himachal Pradesh.
# Himachal Pradesh will have 136 all women managed booths for the first time.
# Photo Voter ID cards to be used in Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections
# The press conference of Election Commission starts
#Himachal Pradesh Assembly: 68-members, Congress has 36 seats, BJP 26 seats, Himachal Lokhit Party had won one seat while Independents bagged five.
#Gujarat Assembly: Total strength is 182-member currently comprises 115 BJP MLAs, 61 from the Congress, two from the NCP, and one from JD(U).
#Election commission press conference on Himachal Pradesh and Gujrat assembly elections about to begin, reports Mohit Dubey.