New Delhi : Maharashtra and Haryana go to polls simultaneously on October 15 (Wednesday) in a one-day polling to elect their new Assemblies and the results will be out on Sunday, October 19, four days ahead of Diwali.
Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath announced the poll schedule on Friday, clamping the model code of conduct with immediate effect on the Centre and the two state governments, restraining them from any announcements or actions that impact the elections.
Beed in Maharashtra and Kandhamal in Odisha will also have the Lok Sabha by-elections on October 15 and so will be the Assembly by-elections in five states, including Rajkot West in Gujarat besides one each in Uttar Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. The model code will be limited to the districts in which the by-elections are taking place.
As regards Jammu and Kashmir where the Assembly term ends on January 19, Sampath said: “We are watching the situation very closely and after it comes to some shape, we will decide.” Jharkhand where the Assembly term is up to January 4, will be held separately.
The Election Commission decided to hold the one-day poll in entire Maharashtra comprising 288 districts despite the Naxal issue in the Vidarbha region as it was assured availability of enough Central armed forces. The state armed police drawn from other states will also be deployed in these elections.
The poll drill kicks off in both the states as also for all by-elections, except Kandhamal, with the notification on September 20 (Saturday), with September 27 (Saturday_ as the last day for filing nominations, scrutiny on September 29 (Monday) and withdrawals allowed up to October 1. That takes care of holidays of Gandhi Jayanti (Oct 2), Dussehra (Oct 3) and Id-ul-Zuha – Bakri Id (Oct 6) and Saturday and Sunday falling in between.
Haryana Assembly”s term is ending on October 27 and that of Maharashtra on October 8 and as such the elections in the two states were clubbed.
In a shift from earlier practice, the electoral rolls will be updated in the two states up to September 27, the last day for filing of nominations, announced the Chief Election Commissioner, flanked by his two Election Commissioners.
The electoral rolls as updated till July 31 show 1,61,58,117 (over 1.61 crore) voters exercising their franchise right at 16,244 booths in Haryana and 8,25,91,826 (about 8.26 crore) in 90,403 booths in Maharashtra.
Printers will be attached to the electronic voting machines (EVMs) in 30 constituencies in Maharashtra and six in Haryana for keeping the paper trail. The Commission will also have one model polling station in each block, the CEC added.