Himachal Pradesh assembly election on November 9

New Delhi:The Election Commission will announce the dates for the Assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh at 4 pm today

The Election Commission of India has come under severe criticism after it deferred the announcement of dates for Gujarat assembly elections 2017. For example, it announced the polling dates for elections to Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand on January 4. As soon as a voter casts his vote, a screen attached to the VVPAT machine will flash the symbol of the party and the candidate's name for seven seconds so that the voter can verify his vote, said state election commission officials to journalists.

The term of the 182-member Gujarat assembly ends on January 22, 2018 while that of the 68-member Himachal Pradesh's Assembly ends on January 7, 2018. The EC didn't announce the date for the poll in Gujarat.

"In a last-ditch effort to save itself from the thrashing which it will receive from the hands of the people of Gujarat in the forthcoming elections, the BJP has resorted to shameless pressure tactics on the EC and has most blatantly denigrated the authority and power of the Election Commission", he told reporters.

The CEC said elections to the two states-HP and Gujarat- were announced separately in the past too including in 1993, 1994 and 2002.

Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti said on Thursday that while the panel had requests from Himachal Pradesh to hold elections before harsh winter set in, the Gujarat government had requested that it be allowed to finish several relief and rehabilitation works following floods in the state, before the code of conduct was enforced. With this effectively, A K Jyoti said, the model code will be in place for 46 days.

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"It is unusual that the Election Commission has announced the date of election for Himachal Pradesh Assembly while withholding the announcement of date for Gujarat Assembly elections", the Communist Party of India-Marxist said.

But the Chief Election Commissioner has argued that this has meant a longer duration of the enforcement of the model code of conduct in Gujarat. Araria seat in Bihar from the death of former union Minister Mohd Taslimuddin of the Rashtriya Janata Dal. "It is okay as per rules", he said and wondered aloud why the Model Code of Conduct in a poll-bound state was imposed earlier than was warranted.

He said the election process in Gujarat will be completed before vote count in Himachal. He also said the Gujarat BJP's tactic also indicated paucity of local leaders.

The Congress has since accused the Centre of "putting pressure" on the Election Commission to suit the BJP's "political ends". "Modi had ensured that and we are now seeing the result", he said.

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