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Elections to Maharashtra, Haryana, Arunachal assemblies on Oct 13

File photo of voters standing in queue for their turn in an earlier election.
File photo of voters standing in queue for their turn in an earlier election.
The Election Commission today announced that elections would be held on October 13 to elect new Legislative Assemblies in Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh.

The notification for the elections will be issued on September 18 and the last date for filing nominations will be September 25. The nominations will be scrutinised the next day and the last day of withdrawal of candidatures is September 29.

Counting of votes in all three states will be taken up on October 22 and all the results are expected by that evening.

A press release issued by the Election Commission said that it had drawn up the schedule after taking into account all relevant aspects such as the climatic conditions, academic schedules, festivals, prevailing law and order situation in the states, availability of Central Police Forces, time needed for movement and proper deployment of forces, and assessment of other ground realities.

"The Commission after considering all relevant aspects has decided to recommend to the Governors of Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Haryana to issue notifications for the General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of the respective States under the relevant provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 as per the schedule given above," it said.

The terms of the Legislative Assemblies of Arunachal Pradesh and Maharashtra are due to expire on October 24 and November 3, respectively. The Legislative Assembly of Haryana has been dissolved by the Governor of Haryana on the recommendation of the Chief Minister on August 21.

Under the law, the new Legislative Assemblies have to be constituted within six months of the expiry of their term or within six months of premature dissolution.

There are 60 seats in the Arunachal assembly of which 59 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes. There are 288 seats in the Maharashtra assembly, of which 29 are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 25 for Scheduled Tribes. The Haryana assembly has 90 seats, of which 17 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes.

According to the release, the elections in Maharashtra and Haryana will be conducted on the basis of the electoral rolls revised with reference to January 1, 2009 as the qualifying date prepared in accordance with constituencies newly delimited by the Delimitation Commission and as per the earlier constituencies in Arunachal Pradesh.

As per the final rolls, there are 7,50,575 electors in Arunachal Pradesh, 1,20,63,257 (approximately) in Haryana and 7,56,34,525 electors in Maharashtra.

Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be used in all the polling booths in the three states, the release added.

There are 2,061 polling stations in Arunachal Pradesh, 12,894 in Haryana and 82,028 in Maharashtra. For the facility of physically challenged persons, instructions have been issued to ensure that all polling stations as far as practicable, are located at ground floor and ramps are provided. Facilitation shall also be provided for locating elector’s name against a polling station or a group of polling stations through help lines and facilitation centers.

Based on the assessment of the ground situation, Central Police Forces (CPF) and State Armed Police (SAP) drawn from other States will be deployed during the elections in the three states.

The CPF and SAP will be used generally for safeguarding the polling stations and for providing security to the electors and polling personnel at the polling stations on the poll day. Besides, these forces will also be used for securing the strong rooms where the EVMs are stored and for securing the counting centers. Wherever needed, the CPF will be deployed in advance for area domination and other election related duties. The identification of polling stations requiring static coverage by CPF in various assembly constituencies will be made by district election machinery in consultation with the observers of the Election Commission.

The Commission said it would deploy observers in adequate number to ensure the smooth conduct of the polls. In addition, micro-observers will be deployed to observe the poll proceedings in the polling station on the poll day in selected and critical polling stations.

The release said the Model Code of Conduct has come into immediate effect in all the three states with today's announcement. It will be applicable to all candidates, political parties, the State Governments concerned and the Union Government.

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