Sunday, January 9, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Haryana Assembly poll on Feb 22
Nawanshahr, Solan byelections on Feb 17
Tribune News Service and PTI

NEW DELHI, Jan 8 — Assembly poll in Bihar, Orissa, Manipur and Haryana will be held on February 12, 17 and 22 along with by-elections to vacant Lok Sabha seats of Bellary and Kannauj and 30 assembly constituencies in 11 states, the Election Commission announced today.

Briefing newspersons, the Chief Election Commissioner. Dr M.S. Gill, said elections in Haryana would be held on February 22. The 90-member Assembly was dissolved following a recommendation by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala.

Announcing the schedule, Dr Gill said a poll notification would be issued on January 17 and the last date for filing nominations would be on January 24 and the scrutiny the following day. The withdrawal of candidates would take place on January 27.

The CEC said around 10 crore electors would exercise their franchise in the four states and by-elections to two Lok Sabha and 30 assembly seats in the country.

While the tenure of the Manipur and Orissa assemblies was to expire on March 21 and 22 respectively, Bihar Assembly term was to end on April 9. The term of Haryana Assembly was up to May 21, 2001, but was dissolved recently.

Since the commission had made extensive use of electronic voting machines during the Lok Sabha poll, Dr Gill said the panel would decide shortly on the use of EVMs in the forthcoming assembly polls.

While the 324-member Bihar Assembly will have polling on all the three days, elections to Orissa Assembly with 147 members will be held on February 17 and 22 and to Manipur Assembly with 60 members on February 12 and 22.

By-elections to Bellary Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka, vacated by the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, and Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh quit by Samajwadi Party leader, Mulayam Singh Yadav, and 30 Assembly constituencies, including Nawanshahr (Punjab) and Solan (Himachal), in 11 states would be conducted on February 17.

Counting of votes will take place on February 25 while the entire election process will be completed by March 8, the Election Commissioner said.

Dr Gill announced that the model code of conduct for political parties and candidates would come into force with immediate effect in the four states and in the districts in which Lok Sabha and Assembly by-elections were scheduled to be held.The CEC said the election dates had been finalised keeping in mind that the financial year was coming to an end in March and that the Budget would have to be passed by the new assemblies.

The final examinations in schools and colleges and the preceding study period for the students had also been taken into account.Security arrangements for the polls had been decided in consultation with the Home Ministry, the Centre and state governments concerned, besides the Chief Electoral Officers.

On the model code of conduct, the commission said it would not hamper the normal relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the cyclone-hit Orissa.The commission proposed to link all counting centres with computer and other communication facilities to manage the counting process effectively and for the speedy dissemination of counting trends and results.

On the photo identity cards, Dr Gill said the commission would be making effective use of them in the elections. While Haryana has almost completed the preparation of photo identity cards, Bihar has made little progress and Orissa has made substantial progress.

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