Soon after the Election Commission announced the dates for assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday said Congress' focus is on development while the BJP relies solely on PM Narendra Modi.
Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections 2017 will be held as a single phase on November 9 and the counting of votes will be held on December 18, 2017.
"Election is mainly against BJP. We know their strengths and weaknesses, they are relying on Modi. We are self-reliant, our focus is on development," Singh told news agency ANI.
Announcing this the Chief Election Commissioner AK Jyoti said, "VVPAT to be used in Himachal polls and one VVPATmachine from each assembly constituency in HP will be checked on a pilot basis to verify results."
For the first time Himachal Pradesh will have 136 all women managed booths. Size of VVPAT will be 10 cm length and 5.6 cm width, he added. Bulk SMSes and voice messages on phone shall also be in purview of election advertisements, CEC Joti said.
An estimated 49.05 lakh voters, including over 20,000 new voters, will be exercising their franchise from 7,521 polling stations in Himachal Pradesh. The ceiling for election expenditure per candidate is Rs. 25 lakh. Both Congress and BJP have launched their campaigns and have been trading charges.
While the Congress is in power in the hill state of Himachal, the BJP has been ruling Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat for around 22 years now.