Millennium Post

EC opens poll vault

EC opens poll vault
The model code of conduct came into effect from Wednesday in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, with the Election Commission of India announcing the schedule for the assembly elections in these states.

Himachal Pradesh will have a single-phase assembly voting for 68 seats on 4 November, while Gujarat will have a two-phase polls for 182 seats on 13 and 17 December. The fate of the candidates in both the states will be out on 20 December. Electronic voting machines will be used at all polling stations in these states.

Announcing the election schedule, the chief election commissioner V S Sampath said that the commission had made elaborate measures for conducting elections in these states. 'We are making foolproof security arrangements in both states by deploying adequate strength of central police forces. Armed police forces from other states will also be deployed,' he said.

The Election Commission will keep a close watch on election expenditures by the candidates and the menace of paid news. This time, it has tried to come out with a mechanism to deal with them effectively. The commission has decided to appoint an adequate number of expenditure observers and assistant expenditure observers for this purpose. They will exclusively monitor the election expenditure of the contestants, while a committee at different levels will be set up to deal with paid news. The commission said that the candidates would be required to open a separate bank account to make transactions on election expenses.

Sampath said that the polling dates had been determined after taking into account climatic conditions, particularly in Himachal Pradesh, academic calendar, festivals, law and order situation and availability of security forces. He said that the number of eligible voters in Himachal Pradesh is 45.16 lakh against 3.78 crore in Gujarat and the electors will be given their voting slips a few days before the polling dates.
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