Elections to the Himachal Pradesh Assembly will take place on November 12 in single-phase polling for all 68 constituencies, followed by counting of votes on December 8, the Election Commission of India announced.
The Model Code of Conduct will be in effect in the state from Monday after the official notification for the election is published. The filing of nomination for candidates will begin October 17 and continue until October 25.
In Himachal Pradesh, there are 1.86 lakh first-time voters, 1.22 lakh who are aged 80-plus and 1,184 voters who are above 100 years of age, the EC said.
“To the festive month of October, we are going to add the festival of democracy,” Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar told reporters while announcing the election schedule.
Dates for the much anticipated Gujarat elections were, however, not announced. The state Assembly’s term ends on February 18, 2023.
This is the third time since 1998 that the announcement of Gujarat Assembly elections has been de-linked from that of Himachal Pradesh. Polls were conducted simultaneously in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh in 1998, 2007 and 2012, but were held separately in 2002-03, after the Gujarat Assembly was prematurely dissolved soon after the Godhra riots.
In 2017, the EC decided to separate the two to avoid imposing the MCC for an unreasonably long time. This year too, it used a similar line to justify the delinking.
Rajiv Kumar told reporters that since the terms of the two Assemblies were expiring 40 days apart, the Commission decided to follow the example set in 2017.