New Delhi, October 4, 2013
Elections will be held to the legislative assembly of Chattisgarh in two phases on November 11 and 19, while there will be single-phase polling for the assemblies in Madhya Pradesh on November 25, Rajasthan on December 1 and Delhi and Mizoram on December 4.
Election Commission announces poll schedule for 5 states
Elections will be held to the legislative assembly of Chattisgarh in two phases on November 11 and 19, while there will be single-phase polling to the assemblies in Madhya Pradesh on November 25, Rajasthan on December 1 and Delhi and Mizoram on December 4.
The schedule for the crucial elections, which come just months ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections, were announced at a press conference here today by Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath and Election Commissioners H S Brahma and Nasim Zaidi.
Mr Sampath said 18 constituencies in Chhattisgarh, mainly in Naxalite-infested areas, will go to the polls on November 11 and the remaining 72 on November 19.
The term of the Assembly is due to expire on January 4, 2014 in Chhattisgarh, December 12 this year in Madhya Pradesh, December 15 in Mizoram, December 31 in Rajasthan and December 17 in Delhi.
The Commission has also decided to hold bye-elections in Surat West Assembly constituency of Gujarat and Yercaud constituency of Tamil Nadu Assembly on December 4.
Counting of votes in all the States will be taken up on December 8 and all the results are expected to be out by that evening.
The Election Commission normally tries to hold elections to legislative assemblies of states whose terms expire around the same time, together.
The BJP is ruling Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for the past 10 years, while the Congress had wrested Rajasthan from it in the last elections. In Delhi, the Congress has been in power for the past 15 years.
The Chhattisgarh Assembly has 90 seats (including 10 reserved for Scheduled Castes and 29 for Scheduled Tribes). The number of seats is 230 in Madhya Pradesh (35 SC, 47 ST), 40 in Mizoram (39 ST), 200 in Rajasthan (34 SC, 25 ST) and 70 in Delhi (12 SC).
Mr Sampath said the electoral rolls of all existing Assembly Constituencies in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Delhi on the basis of the electoral rolls revised with reference to 1.1.2013 as the qualifying date and have been finally published on 12.09.2013, 24.07.2013, 16.08.2013, 06.09.2013 and 09.09.2013, respectively.
The number of electors in these States, as on date, are: Chhattisgarh - 1,67,96174, Madhya Pradesh - 4,64,57724, Mizoram - 6,86305, Rajasthan - 4,06,08056 and Delhi- 1,15,07113.
Mr Sampath said photo electoral rolls will be used during the elections. According to him, the photo percentages in photo electoral rolls were Chhattisgarh - 99.43%, Madhya Pradesh - 100%, Mizoram - 100%, Rajasthan - 99.27% and Delhi - 100%.
The Election Commission will set up 21, 418 polling stations in Chhattisgarh, 53,986 in Madhya Pradesh, 1126 in Mizoram, 45,334 in Rajasthan, and 11,763 in Delhi.
Mr Sampath said that, as per the judgement of the Supreme Court of September 27, there will be a button for "None of the Above" option on all electronic voting machines (EVMs), below the name of the last candidate.
Electors who do not want to vote for any of the candidates in the fray in their constituency can exercise the NOTA option now.
"The Commission is taking steps to bring this to the knowledge of voters and all other stakeholders and to train all field level officials including the polling personnel about the NOTA option," he said.
He said that all critical events in the electoral process, including filing of nominations, allotment of symbols, preparation and storage of EVMs, important public meetings, processions, polling, counting of votes and so on, would be videographed.
He said Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and State Armed Police (SAP) drawn from other states would be deployed during the elections. They 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 be used for securing the strong rooms where the EVMs are stored and for securing the counting centers and for other purposes, as required, he said.
As in the past, the Commission will deploy General Observers in adequate number to ensure the smooth conduct of elections.
The Model Code of Conduct has come into effect immediately in all the five states. In particular, the Commission drew attention to the provision that “there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes. Mosques, Churches, Temples or other places of worship shall not be used as forum for election propaganda.”
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