Himachal polls on Nov 9, results on Dec 18

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 08, 2018

Elections to the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly will be held on November 9, and results will be declared on December 18, the Election Commission announced on Thursday.

Himachal will see 7,479 polling stations being set up to facilitate the over 49 lakh voters to cast their votes. The fact that some regions, especially Lahaul-Spiti become snow bound during winter months, influenced the Commission’s decision in finalising the polling schedule for Himachal Pradesh.

Though the panel did not announce the schedule for State elections in Gujarat, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti said the dates would be known “soon” and that the poll process would be completed by December 18.

The Commission said the decision to count the votes in HP in December after polling in Gujarat was taken to ensure that the poll outcome in one State does not affect polling trends in the other.

The term of the current Assemblies in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat expires in January 2018.

The EC said a similar procedure for polling and counting was followed in both States in 2012, when the previous Assembly elections were held.

Poll code in force

The Commission has set October 23 as the last date for candidates to file their nominations while the deadline for withdrawal of candidature is on October 26. The model code of conduct comes into immediate effect in Himachal Pradesh. The code bars candidates from using unfair means to influence voters.

All polling stations in the State will use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) for the Assembly elections. This would enhance the transparency and credibility of the election process, the CEC said.

The Commission also announced that, on a pilot basis, the VVPAT from one polling station in each Assembly constituency will be randomly selected to count VVPAT paper-slips for verification of the results obtained from the Control Unit.

Each candidate contesting the election will be allowed a maximum expenditure of ₹28 lakh and will have to furnish accounts of expenditure within 30 days of declaration of results. All political parties sponsoring candidates for the elections are required to maintain day-to-day accounts of campaign expenses and submit the accounts to the EC within 75 days of the completion of the elections, the Commission announced.

Published on October 12, 2017

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