Himachal Pradesh assembly elections to be held on 9 November and counting of votes to be on 18 December: EC

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The Election Commission of India have announced that the model code of conduct had been enforced in Himachal Pradesh. Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Jyoti said that elections in Himachal will be held on 9 November while the counting will take place on 18 December.

Here are the highlights!

  • Himachal Pradesh assembly elections to be held on 9 November and counting of votes to be on 18 December: Election Commission
  • 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
  • For the first time Himachal Pradesh will have 136 all women managed booths: CEC Achal Kumar Jyoti
  • We will have VVPATs along with EVMs; height of voting compartments will be increased to 30 inches: CEC AK Jyoti on Himachal Pradesh polls

One VVPAT machine from each assembly constituency in HP will be checked on a pilot basis to verify results, says CEC. Himachal Pradesh will have 7521 voting centres. There will be all-women polling stations

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Jyoti also said that filing of nominations will open on 16 October and the last date will be 23 October. Scrutiny will be done the next day and the last for withdrawal of candidates will be October 26.

The Election Commission did not announce the dates for the Gujarat polls. When asked for the reasons, Jyoti cited some office memorandums issued earlier to justify the delay in the announcement regarding Gujarat, saying the Election Commission had a statutory 21 days to carry out elections that can extend up to 45 days.

He said the election process in Gujarat will be completed before vote count in Himachal.

Congress asked why “are Gujarat election dates being shrouded in secrecy by the “independent” Election Commission?”

The party’s head of communications, Rajdeep Surjewala said, “Modi Govt appears to be putting pressure on EC to defer announcement of Gujarat election alongwith Himachal, to suit its political ends. Reason is that PM is visiting Gujarat on 16th Oct as a false Santa Claus to announce soaps & jumlas that he didn’t implement for 22 yrs. Onus lies on ECI to ensure level playing field by announcing Guj election dates & imposing Code of Conduct immediately.”

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Similar questions were asked by many on social media platforms.

Many believe that the reason for not announcing dates for Gujarat elections is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Gujarat that his party has ruled for 22 years on 16 October. By announcing the dates would have meant the enforcement of Model Code of Conduct in the state, which the EC wanted to avoid.

Gujarat has had BJP government for 22 years in a row. Of which Narendra Modi was the chief minister for over a decade before he was elected India’s prime minister in May 2014.

In Gujarat the fight will be between BJP and Congress, which has suddenly emerged as a real challenger.

BJP is facing anger on multiple fronts with Patidars, it’s traditional votebank, deciding to teach the saffron party a lesson this time. Dalits and traders are too angry with the party.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has been receiving plenty of support during his roadshows and public functions recently.

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