India: Dates out, Gujarat votes on Dec 13, 17, HP on Nov 4; result on 20 Dec

Wednesday, October 03, 2012
New Delhi: The Election Commission of India announced the poll dates for the crucial Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly election on Wednesday evening.

Assembly elections will be held in two phases in Gujarat on December 13 and 17, while Himachal Pradesh will vote for a new government on November 4.

The counting for both states will be conducted on 20 December.

The announcement came hours after Congress President Sonia Gandhi officially unleashed the party’s campaign in Gujarat with a hurtful attack on the BJP.

The much awaited and much hyped Gujarat election is somehow seen as the direct and arguable spar between the two major national party of the India i.e Indian National Congress (INC) and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).  

However, the Congress has welcomed the polls saying that these would not be a referendum on the performance of the central government.

Earlier, on Wednesday morning the commission has finalised the schedule for the assembly polls in the two states in its full meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath and attended by Election Commissioners HS Brahma and Nasim Zaidi and other officials, EC sources said.

The commission has already held consultations with the Home Ministry for deployment of central security forces during the elections and with revenue officials for checking the misuse of money power.

More than 35,000 personnel from central paramilitary forces and around 55,000 from state police are likely to be deployed for the Gujarat polls.

Around 9,000 personnel from paramilitary forces and 14,000 from state police are likely to be deployed for Himachal Pradesh elections.

This election is vital in the sense that the nation as Uttar Pradesh, country's most populous state, has voted in February-March this year, along with Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur.

Notably, the Both Himachal Pradesh (68 seats) and Gujarat (182 seats) are ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with the Congress desperate to dislodge it.

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