Himachal polls on November 9: Election Commission

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In addition to such facilities for the differently-abled, the ECI also announced that for the first time, Himachal Pradesh will have 136 all women managed booths. The election date in Gujarat is likely to be announced after his visit.

Responding to queries on why elections in Gujarat were not announced simultaneously, Joti said there is "no justification" to have a prolonged period of imposition of model code of conduct as it could hamper development work.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) polit bureau termed the EC announcement odd.

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. But it did not announce dates for the Gujarat elections.

As part of the BJP's high-pitch election campaign, Modi is expected to visit Bhat village near Gandhinagar next week where he may make major announcements to woo voters who are reportedly unhappy with steps taken by the governments in the Centre and the state.

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

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As soon as the EC announces the poll schedule for a state, the Model Code of Conduct comes into force in that state during which the governments can not announce any policy decision nor unveil new projects. "Increased the size of the screen on VVPAT machines to 10 cm by 5.6 cm for the voters to able to verify their vote easily", CEC A K Jyoti said.

Congress suffered a big setback ahead of the crucial Gujarat elections when regional strongman and former CM Shankersinh Vaghela quit the party last month.

The Election Commission (EC) has announced the date for the assembly poll in Himachal Pradesh. In 2012, the model code of conduct for Gujarat and Himachal started from October 3.

Joti said the model code of conduct in Himachal Pradesh comes into effect immediately under which the state government can not take policy decisions.

The Himachal Pradesh BJP has alleged that the Chief Minister and other ministers are issuing transfer orders in back date. The CEC said the entire election scheduled should not exceed 46-days. "Prior to Himachal results, the voting process will be over in Gujarat", he said. "Modi had ensured that and we are now seeing the result", he said.

Speaking to The Hindu, Quraishi said the EC's decision also went against the "spirit of simultaneous polls".

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