Even as political parties including the Congress are still engaged in resolving the issue of ticket distribution with top party leaders in New Delhi, Chief Electoral Officer(CEO) Pushpender Rajput Monday issued a formal notification to set in the motion of filing of nominations by the candidates.
As per the schedule, the last date for filing of nominations is October 23 while scrutiny of papers is scheduled to be taken up on October 24. The last day for withdrawal of nominations is October 26, while polling will be held on November 9. Rajput informed that out of 7,521 polling booths, 136 (two each in 68 constituencies), will have women officials. He further added that the counting of votes will be held on December 18 and the Model Code of Conduct would remain in force till December 20.
“Of the 68 assembly segments in the state, 17 have been reserved for scheduled castes and three for scheduled tribes,” Rajput said. The CEO said that the electronic voting machines (EVMs), connected to voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines, would be used in all the 7,521 polling booths. “The VVPAT machines would be used for the first time in the Himachal Assembly polls which will enable a voter to see the name and election symbol of the candidate he has voted for seven seconds,” he said.
In another first in Himachal Pradesh, all the contesting candidates will be required to furnish details of their social media accounts in the affidavits which they will be filing during the polls, beside other property details and criminal record. The Congress has already named Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh as party’s CM face.