Dates for Gujarat, Himachal polls at 4 pm today
 Source : NewsBharati  Date : 12-Oct-2017

New Delhi, October 12: The Election Commission will today announce the dates for the Assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh at 4 pm. While the term of the 182-member Gujarat Assembly ends on January 22, the term of the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly ends on January 7.

The central poll panel yesterday said that Gujarat may go to polls in December as the term of the current legislative assembly will end in the 3rd week of January. CEC AK Joti stated that voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) system will be used in over 50,000 booths in Gujarat.

 

Gujarat, a BJP stronghold and home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is once again anticipated to see a bipolar contest between BJP and Congress. Himachal Pradesh, too, off-late has seen bi-polar contest between the two parties, with regional parties commanding very less political significance in the state.

Currently BJP has 120 legislators in Gujarat assembly, while the opposition Congress has 47 MLAs. While the latter had won 59 seats in the last assembly polls in 2012, dozen of its legislators had recently left the party with some of them joining the ruling BJP.

Congress, which is out of power in Gujarat since March 1995, is facing another uphill task in the state, where BJP has the strongest organisation.

Meanwhile in Himachal Pradesh, Congress is the ruling party run by an octogenarian leader Virbhadra Singh. The elections will also be test for the 83-year Chief Minister, who is battling probe by the CBI. Notably, Congress won 36 seats in last assembly polls in 2012, while BJP was reduced to 26 seats.