Gujarat polls on Dec 13 &17, Himachal Pradesh poll on Nov 4

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Election Commission
New Delhi, Oct 3: The Gujarat Assembly elections will be held in two phases in the middle of December, while Himachal Pradesh will go to the polls in a single phase on Nov 4.

Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath told newspersons here today that voters of 182 constituencies in Gujarat will exercise their franchise in two phases on Dec 13 and Dec 17.

In Gujarat, 13 assembly seats have been reserved for candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 26 for Scheduled Tribe candidates (STs). The state has 3.78 crore voters in all.

Himachal Pradesh has a total of 68 assembly constituencies. Of these, 17 are reserved for SCs and three for STs.

All the votes polled in Himachal Pradesh will be counted on Dec 20. On the same day, Gujarat's voters will also find out which party will form the next government in their state.

The notification for the Himachal Pradesh elections will be issued on Oct 10. The last date for filing nominations is Oct 17. Scrutiny of nominations will be done on Oct 18. The last date for withdrawing nominations is Oct 20.

As far as Gujarat is concerned, the notification for the first phase of the polls will be issued on Nov 17. The last date for filing nominations is Nov 24. Scrutiny of nominations will be done on Nov 26. The last date for withdrawing nominations is Nov 28.

For the second phase, the notification will be issued on Nov 23. The last date for filing nominations is Nov 30. The scrutiny of nominations is scheduled for Dec 1. The last date for withdrawing nominations is Dec 3.

The election process in Gujarat as well as Himachal Pradesh will be completed by Dec 24, the CEC said.

In Himachal Pradesh, a new Assembly has to be constituted by Jan 10, 2013. The term of the Gujarat Assembly expires on Jan 17, 2013.

BJP is in power in both the states. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will try to lead his party to a third consecutive victory. Last time, BJP bagged as many as 117 seats even as Congress had to rest content with 59.

In Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal will try to better the BJP's performance in 2007 when the party's candidates emerged triumphant in 41 constituencies. Congress could only win 19 in the last polls.

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