Election Commission likely to announce Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh Assembly election dates today

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The schedule has been, however, kept under wraps until the Election Commission announces the dates of the Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat Assembly elections. While the term of the 182-member Gujarat Assembly ends on January 22, the term of the 68-member HP Assembly ends on January 7.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) A K Joti had said Tuesday that the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) will be used in over 50,000 booths in Gujarat. According to sources, the Gujarat polls are likely to be conducted in two phases while Himachal elections in one phase. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh recently incited a revolt with most of the party's 36 legislators threatening to side with him if he is not given a free hand to run the party's campaign. It was long back announced that the elections might be held in Dec, but the specific dates were yet to be decided. Hence, in November, the election dates for Himachal Pradesh polls are likely to be in the coming month.

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For the first time, the poll panel will also introduce all-women polling stations in Gujarat in all assembly segments. If we talk about the Gujarat elections, then there are around 182 seats in the house which presently comprised of 118 BJP MLA's, 42 Congress, 2 from NCP and one from JD (U).

The polls are seen as a barometer of support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a time when a sputtering economy has handed the opposition Congress party a possible opening to regain political ground.

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Both Congress and BJP have been holding heated campaigns in Gujarat. The Assembly elections are likely to be held before the end of the year.

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