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.
The EC decided on announcing Gujarat poll separately as it would have meant extremely long period for enforcement of model code. However, it hinted that elections in Gujarat to be held prior to 18 December.
With announcement of the poll dates, the model code of conduct has come into operation in both the states with immediate effect.
- Notification to be issued on October 16
- Last date of filing nomination is October 23
- Last date of withdrawal of nomination October 26
- Single-phase polling: November 9
- Counting: December 18
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.
Congress Vice- President Rahul Gandhi in his recent to poll-bound Himachal announced Chief minister Virbhadra Singh as Cong's CM candidate for HP polls, while the BJP is unlikely to name its CM candidate.
The tenure of Gujarat assembly is due to end on 22 January 2018. Elections in Gujarat in 2012 were held in two phases on 13 and 17 December 2012 respectively.The term of the Himachal ends on 7 January 2018.
While Gujarat has 182 assembly constituencies, 13 of which are reserved for SCs and 26 for STs, Himachal Pradesh has 68 assembly seats, with 17 reserved for SCs and 3 for STs.