NEW DELHI: Assembly elections in Gujarat will be held in two phases on December 13 and 17 while the 68-member Himachal Pradesh will go to the polls on November 4, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath announced on Wednesday.
Sampath told a news conference that a total of 87 seats will go to the polls in the first phase, while 95 seats will see polling in the second phase for the 182-member Gujarat Assembly.
Counting of votes in both the states is slated for December 20.
Date of notification for the Himachal polls is October 10 and the last date of filing nominations is October 17.
With the announcement of poll dates, the model code of conduct has come into force immediately in both the states.
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.
The poll watchdog has already held consultations with the Home Ministry for deployment of central security forces during the elections and with revenue officials for checking the misuse of money power. More than 35,000 personnel from central paramilitary forces and around 55,000 from state police are likely to be deployed for the Gujarat polls.
Around 9,000 personnel from paramilitary forces and 14,000 from state police are likely to be deployed for Himachal Pradesh elections. Fearing use of money power in Gujarat, the Commission is engaged in identifying the number of ‘expenditure sensitive’ constituencies in Gujarat. 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 13 seats reserved for SCs and 26 for STs, Himachal Pradesh has 17 reserved for SCs and 3 for STs. Gujarat will have 44,496 polling stations while in Himachal 7,252 polling stations will be set up. Gujarat has 3.78 crore voters, while Himachal has 45.16 lakh electors. (UNI)