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Gujarat polls on December 11 and 16
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | October 10, 2007 19:13 IST
The most-awaited Assembly elections to Gujarat will be held on December 11 and 16. Himachal Pradesh will also go to polls on November 11 and December 12.
The dates were announced by Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy at a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday.Counting for 182 assembly constituencies for Gujarat will take place on December 23 In Himachal Pradesh, counting for 68 constituencies will be taken up December 28.
The Election Commission has decided to conduct elections at Kinnaur, Bharmour and Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh along with the rest of the constituencies. Earlier the elections in the tribal belt were held during summer.
Refusing to disclose the number of sensitive booths in Gujarat, N Gopalaswamy said 3,66,39,686 electors would caste their franchise in two phases. In phase one, 87 Assembly segments would go for polls, while the rest would be taken up in the second phase. Notification for the first phase will be issued on November 15. November 22 will be the last date for filing nominations and the scrutiny of nominations will be held on November 23 and the last date of withdrawal of candidature has been fixed for November 26.
Similarly, the notification for the second and the last phase will be issued on November 22 and the last date for nomination will be November 28. The last late of withdrawal has been fixed on December 1. Electronic voting machines will be used in all 39,620 polling booths.
Himachal Pradesh has 45,43,024 voters spread over 6232 polling stations, including the tribal belt of Kinnaur, Bharmour and Lahaul and Spiti. Poll notifications for the two phases will be announced on November 15 and 21 respectively. The last date for filing nominations will be November 22nd and 28 respectively.
The poll panel chief said dates had been fixed after taking into account the festival season and other events and the availability of deployment of forces in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
Gopalaswamy said the model code of conduct would come into force immediately and it would be applicable to all candidates, political parties, the state governments concerned and the Centre.
The CEC said that his statement on upgradation of electoral rolls was a routine affair and should not be construed as part of the preparation for the general elections.
"Where are the general elections," he shot back when a scribe asked him if the exercise was a measure for preparation of mid-term polls. "We do this by January every year," he said.
Navin Chawla and Y S Qureshi, the other two commissioners, were present.