Maharashtra, Haryana to go to polls on 15 October; results on 19 October

Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath
Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath

The Election Commission today announced that polling would be held in Maharashtra and Haryana on 15 October.The results will be announced on 19 October, Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath announced at a press conference today.

The Election Commission announced that the notification for the election in the two states will be issued on 20 September.The last date for candidates to file their nominations will be 27 September. The process of scrutiny will be conducted on 29 September and the last date for withdrawal of nominations will be 1 October. Model code of conduct is into force with immediate effect in both states, Sampath said.The CEC said that they would be monitoring the situation in Jammu and Kashmir given recent floods before deciding on when polls should be conducted there.

The tenure of the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly comes to an end on 8 November, while that of the 90-member Haryana House will end on 27 October. The Congress is in power in Haryana, the Congress-NCP alliance is in power in Maharashtra. While there are 16,244 polling stations in Harayana, there are 90,403 polling stations in the state of Maharashtra, the Chief Election Commissioner said. In Maharashtra there are 8.25 crore voters while around one crore voters will be casting their votes in Haryana.

The Chief Election Commissioner said electoral rolls can be updated till the last date of filing nominations and both state election bodies have been told to enrol voters until the final deadline.

“Simply because you have voted in the last election or have an EPIC it doesn’t mean you can vote. Your name should be on the electoral rolls,” Samapth said, adding that the responsibility of ensuring it lay with voters. He said that voters who didn’t have picture voter ids could use alternate documents to cast their votes. Like in the Lok Sabha elections, voters will have the option of choosing None of the Above.

The CEC said that apart from security personnel, there will also be observers to ensure free and fair polls, particularly in sensitive polling areas.”We have evolved elaborate measures for monitoring election expenditure,” he said, adding that groups would keep an eye on illegal distribution of alcohol by candidates.The CEC also said that some districts will have one ‘model’ polling station and they were aspiring to make every polling station an ideal one.

Voter facilitation centres, helplines and other features would be available to voters prior to the polling in order to ensure they are able to cast their vote.

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