New Delhi, Oct 6: Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on Saturday has announced the poll schedule for by-polls in Shimoga, Bellary and Mandya in Karnataka will be held on 3rd November, adding that the Model Code of Conduct in the states comes into effect immediately.
Notification for all the by-elections will be issued on October 9 and the last date for filing the nomination will be October 16. Scrutiny will be done on October 17 while the last date for withdrawal of candidature will be October 20.
Asked why the by-elections are being held with just eight months left for the Lok Sabha elections, Rawat said that the Lok Sabha seats had fallen vacant more than one year before the tenure of the House was to end and so the Commission was bound to hold the elections.
Rawat also announced the poll schedule for five states, including Telangana. While Chhattisgarh will vote in two phases on November 12 and 20, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram will go to polls on November 28. Rajasthan and Telangana will vote on December 7. The results for all five Assembly elections will be out on December 11.
Rawat said the electronic voting machines and the voter-verifiable paper audit trail machines to be used for the elections will be the latest Mark III model and produced by Bharat Electronics Limited. Mock polls will also be conducted before the actual elections.
Hours before the announcement of the election schedule in four states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi made high-pitched speeches at poll rallies in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, respectively. While the PM lashed out at the Congress, accusing it of vote-bank politics, Rahul Gandhi accused the BJP of "helping" PNB scam accused Nirav Modi flee from the country.