M A I N   N E W S

HP polls on Nov 4, Gujarat on Dec 13, 17
Straight contest between Congress & BJP in both states 
Counting on Dec 20 
Ashok Tuteja/TNS

New Delhi, October 3
The Election Commission today announced the schedule for the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections in what is expected to be a straight contest between the BJP and the Congress in both the states.

While voting will be held in a single phase in Himachal on November 4, Gujarat will witness a two-phase polling on December 13 and 17, Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath announced here today at a press conference. Counting of votes in both the states would, however, be held the same day on December 20.

He said the model code of conduct had come into force immediately in both the states, currently ruled by the BJP. The EC had prepared the scheduled for the polls taking into consideration all relevant aspects like the climatic conditions, academic calendars, festivals, prevailing law and order situation and the availability of Central forces.

The notification for the elections in Himachal would be issued on October 10. The last date for filing nominations would be October 17 while scrutiny would be done the next day. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is October 20. The poll process in the state would have to be completed by December 24. The term of the state assembly expires on January 10. Of the 68 assembly seats in the state, 17 are reserved for SCs and three for STs.

The notification for the assembly elections in Gujarat would be issued on November 17 for the first phase and November 23 for the second phase. The last date for filing nominations was November 24 and November 30, respectively.

The scrutiny would be done on November 26 and December 1, respectively, while the last date for withdrawal of candidature was November 28 for the Phase 1 and December 3 for the Round 2. The poll process shall be completed by December 24. The term of the state assembly expires on January 17. Of the total 182 assembly seats in the state, 13 are for SCs and 27 for STs.

The BJP-government in Himachal is led by Prem Kumar Dhumal while Narendra Modi heads the saffron party government in Gujarat.

The main fight in Himachal will again be between the BJP and the Congress though the BSP is attempting to make a dent in the vote banks of both the national parties. In 2007, the BJP had won a landslide in the state, which, however, has never returned an incumbent party to power.

However, the nationís attention will be on the crucial assembly polls in Gujarat where Modi is making a determined bid to retain power for a third consecutive term. The Congress, on the other hand, is going all out to unseat Modi, who is turning out to be a thorn in its flesh.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |