EC to announce poll dates for Gujarat, Himachal

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The Election Commission of India is set to announce the dates for the Himachal Pradesh Election 2017 at 4 PM on Thursday evening.

On a press conference Joti stated that "There is no doubt the polls will be held in December", When asked if it will be held in two phases, he added that it was yet to be decided.

While the term of the 182-member Gujarat Assembly ends on January 22, that of the 68-member Himachal House will come to an end on January 7.

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Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) A K Joti had said Tuesday that the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) will be used in over 50,000 booths in Gujarat.

This is Gujarat's fourteenth Assembly election to send 182 members to office.

Meanwhile, the term of the current Himachal Pradesh Assembly ends next month.

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Elections were held in two phases, the first on 13 December and second on 17 December 2012.Total voting turnout of both phases was 71.32 per cent, highest since 1980.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was announced as the party's Chief Ministerial candidate by Congress President Rahul Gandhi recently. The Assembly elections are likely to be held before the end of the year. Congress will win 45 seats or even more. The election is seen as crucial for the Congress, as the state is one of its few strongholds in the country. VVPAT was first used in the Goa polls earlier this year. Moreover, all-women polling stations in Gujarat in all assembly segments, would be introduced by the poll panel for the first time.

Without waiting for the announcement of the polls dates, political parties have already begun their poll campaigns.

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