It will be two-phase voting in Chhattisgarh, and single phase in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh & Mizoram
The polls to the Assemblies in the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram will be held between November 11 and December 4, the Election Commission announced on Friday. Counting of votes will be taken up on December 8.
The model code of conduct has already come into effect. Over 11.60 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise.
The polls to the 90-member House in Chhattisgarh will be held in two phases on November 11 and 19. Madhya Pradesh (total membership 230) will go to the polls on November 25, Rajasthan (200) on December 1, and Delhi (70) and Mizoram (40) on December 4.
Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath told journalists here that as per the Supreme Court direction, a ‘None of the Above’ button (the option of rejecting all candidates) would be provided in electronic voting machines in the polls.
The first notification for the polls would be out on October 18 (for phase-I in Chhattisgarh).
During phase-I there, 18 constituencies in naxal-prone Bastar and neighbouring districts will go to the polls. The EC announced that by-elections in the Assembly constituencies of Surat (Gujarat) and Yercaud (Tamil Nadu) would be held on December 4.
Stakes high for BJP
Muralidhar Reddy reports:
The BJP has huge stakes in four of the five States where Assembly elections.
The party sees it not only as a ‘mini-general election’ but hopes to make the most of the outcome. Of the five States, it fancies its chances in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
BJP leaders concede that it would be a tough fight in Delhi due to intense factionalism within the State unit coupled with the charisma of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who would be seeking a third term.