Chandigarh, October 12
The Election Commission on Thursday announced Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections will be held on November 9.
Elections in Himachal Pradesh for the 68 Assembly seats will be conducted in a single phase. Counting of votes and declaration of results will take place on December 18.
Last date for filing of nominations for Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls is October 23. Scrutiny will be done on October 24 and last date of withdrawal of nomination is October 26. Notification for the polls would be issued on October 16.
Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Jyoti announced the polls and said the model code of conduct came into force with immediate effect.
In Himachal Pradesh, voting will be held in 7,521 polling stations, including 136 women managed poll stations. VVPAT will be used said the CEC.The CEC said date for counting of votes in Himachal has been fixed as December 18 keeping in view the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections, which most likely are going to be completed by then.
The term of the 182-member Gujarat Assembly ends on January 22, 2018 while that of the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly ends on January 7, 2018. In Himachal, unlike the Congress, the BJP has not invited any applications from candidates for the ticket and the party would conduct surveys to check the winning prospect, popularity and public image of probable candidates.
However, the BJP and the Congress have announced to contest elections from all 68 Assembly seats.
The Congress has announced that Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh would lead the party in the polls while the BJP is yet to project someone as the CM candidate.
The BJP and the Congress have both sounded the poll bugle with party leaders targeting each other on many issues.
BJP chief Amit Shah, on October 1, flagged off the party’s ‘Gaurav Yatra’ giving a new slogan to party workers: “I am Gujarat, I am development.” The aim is to counter the Congress’ anti-campaign “Modi’s development has gone mad”.
Even Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, during his election campaign in Saurashtra, picked the “development gone mad” catchline doing rounds in the social media, causing discomfort to the BJP.
The AAP said it would contest the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections, but would field candidates only on seats that met certain criteria set by its central leadership.