Haryana, Maharashtra polls on Oct 21

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on Saturday announced single-phase Assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra on October 21 while the counting will take place on October 24.

rchopra@tribunemail.com

New Delhi, September 21

The Election Commission on Saturday announced single-phase Assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra on October 21 while the counting will take place on October 24.

Announcing the dates at a press conference in New Delhi, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said the poll notification would be issued on September 27 while last date for withdrawing from the contest will be October 7.

The key issues that are expected to dominate the polls include the abrogation of Article 370 to do away with the special powers granted to J&K, NRC and slowdown. The bypolls to 64 Assembly seats and one Lok Sabha constituency (Samastipur in Bihar) spread across 18 states, including four in Punjab and two in Himachal, will also be held on October 21. 

The model code of conduct came into force immediately after the poll announcement. 

Answering questions on the way social media narrative could change perceptions, Arora said they had spoken to social media giants, which had brought about a code of ethics. The commission would also monitor the social media, he said.

To a query on voter-verified paper audit trail, Arora said in the LS polls, only eight of the 22,000 machines faced a mechanical failure. The gap in number of votes in these machines was far too less than victory margins. 

The states where Assembly bypolls are to be held are Karnataka (15 seats), UP (11); five each in Bihar and Kerala; four each in Punjab, Assam and Gujarat; three in Sikkim, two each in HP, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu and one seat each in Arunachal, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, MP, Meghalaya, Odisha and Puducherry.  — TNS

The countdown begins

Sept 27 Poll notification to be issued

Oct 4 Last date of filing nominations

Oct 5 Scrutiny of nomination papers 

Oct 7 Last date of withdrawal of candidature

19,425 Polling stations for nearly 1.82 cr voters in Haryana

95,473 Polling stations for over 8.95 cr voters in Maha

No one nation, one poll yet

While there is a debate on simultaneous polls, unless there is a very clear consensus amongst the political parties on the issue, this cannot be taken as a given template. —Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner

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