Voting to elect new assemblies in Maharashtra and Haryana will be held on October 15, and votes will be counted on October 19, the Election Commission announced on Friday.
The Commission made no announcement on elections that are due soon in two other states, Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand.
Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath said the Commission was watching the situation in flood hit J&K closely, and would take a decision after “things come back to some shape”.
The terms of the assemblies in both states end in January 2015. The Model Code of Conduct has come into effect simultaneously with the announcement of elections. “All the provisions of the Model Code will apply to the whole of poll-going states and will be applicable to all candidates, political parties, and the state governments of Haryana and Maharashtra. The Model Code of Conduct shall be applicable to the union government for the states concerned,” the Commission said.
Asked if the Narendra Modi government’s announcements on its achievements in the first 100 days of its tenure would be under the Code’s purview, Sampath told reporters, “Any decision which is in the nature of influencing the voter behaviour… will be covered.”
The term of the Haryana assembly expires on October 27; that of Maharashtra’s on November 8. Of the 288 seats in Maharashtra, 29 are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 25 for Scheduled Tribes. In Haryana, out of the total 90 seats, 17 are reserved for SCs.
By elections for five assembly seats — one each in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat — and for two Lok Sabha constituencies — Beed in Maharashtra and Kandhamal in Orissa — will also be held on the same day. Counting too will be held on October 19.
A total 8.25 crore people in Maharashtra will vote at 90,403 polling stations; 1.61 crore will vote at 16,244 polling stations in Haryana. The entire electorate in Haryana is covered by Photo Electoral Rolls and Elector’s Photo Identity Cards (EPICs); in Maharashtra, 91.3 per cent of voters are on Photo Electoral Rolls and 92.4 per cent have EPICs.
The Election Commission will use a Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) at 3,942 polling stations in 13 constituencies in Maharashtra, and at 959 polling stations in 6 constituencies in Haryana, the CEC said.
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