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Posted at: Oct 13, 2017, 1:48 AM; last updated: Oct 13, 2017, 12:19 PM (IST)

Himachal elections on Nov 9, result on Dec 18

EC defers Gujarat poll schedule announcement

Mukesh Ranjan

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 12

The Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections will be conducted in a single phase on November 9 while the counting of votes will take place on December 18, the Election Commission announced today.

The commission, however, chose to defer the announcement of the poll schedule for Gujarat although the tenure of the state Assembly ends on January 22, just two weeks after that of Himachal. 

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Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti, though, indicated that Gujarat would go to the polls before December 18. “This is being done to ensure the voting pattern of one state does not affect the other,” he said. 

Asked why elections in Gujarat were not announced simultaneously, Joti said, “We have received communication from the state government about ongoing relief and rehabilitation operations following the floods. The administration has sought time before being fully prepared for the elections.” 

Joti said elections to the two states were announced separately in the past too.

“The model code of conduct comes into force immediately,” said Joti, who was flanked by Election Commissioners OP Rawat and Sunil Arora. As per rules, the code will be applicable for the state government as well as the Centre in matters related to Himachal. The poll notification will be issued on October 16. 

For the first time ever, the Election Commission will set up 136 all-woman managed polling booths in Himachal, with each constituency having two of them.

Also, Himachal will be the second state after Goa where voting will take place with 100 per cent VVPAT (voter verified paper trail) coverage. The paper trail machines will be deployed along with EVMs at all 7,521 polling stations, including 42 auxiliary polling stations at remote places. 

The Chief Election Commissioner said VVPAT machines from one polling booth in each of the 68 Assembly segments will be tallied with EVM results to check the vote count.

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