New Delhi: Assembly elections will take place in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram in November-December and the counting of votes will be held on December 8, the Election Commission announced on Friday.

    
While Chhattisgarh will have a two-phase polling on November 11 and November 19, the remaining states will have a single-phase poll.
    
Delhi and Mizoram will go to polls on December 4, Madhya Pradesh on November 25 and Rajasthan on December 1.
    
Counting for all the five states will take place on December 8, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath told a press conference here.
        
Sampath said there were 11 crore voters spread over 630 constituencies in these five states.
    
Voting will take place in 1.30 lakh polling stations, the CEC said, adding the Model Code of Conduct comes into effect immediately.
    
Replying to a question on disqualification of convicted MPs, he said the Election Commission will announce vacancies only after they are notified by Rajya Sabha Chairman and Lok Sabha Speaker.

The first phase of polls in Chhattisgarh will be held on November 11 for which the notification will be issued on October 18. The last date of filing nominations will be October 25 and the last date of withdrawal will be October 28. Scrutiny of nominations will take place on October 26.
    
The second phase of elections will take place on November 19 for which the notification will be issued on October 25. While nominations can be filed till November 1, scrutiny will be held on November 2. The last date of withdrawal is November 4.
    
For the November 25 poll in Madhya Pradesh, the notification will be issued on November 1. The last date of filing nominations is November 8. While scrutiny will take place on November 9, nominations can be withdrawn till November 11.
    
In Rajasthan, where the elections will be held on December 1, the notification will be issued on November 5. While November 12 is the last date of filing nominations, they can be withdrawn till November 16. In between, the scrutiny of the nominations will be carried out on November 13.
 
In Delhi and Mizoram, the elections will be held on December 4. The notification for assembly polls in both the states will be issued on November 9. The nominations can be filed till November 16 and scrutiny will take place on November 18. The last date of withdrawing from the electoral race is November 20.

‘None of the Above' introduced


For the first time, voters in the five states going to polls will be able to reject all candidates by pressing "None of the Above" (NOTA) option.

Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath said that the electronic voting machines will have a slot for NOTA.

"On the balloting unit, below the name of the last candidate, there will now be a button for NOTA so that electors who do not want to vote for any of the candidates can exercise their option by pressing the button against NOTA," he told the media.

The NOTA option has been included following a Supreme Court ruling on September 27.

"The commission is taking steps to bring this to the knowledge of voters and all other stakeholders," Sampath said.



Modi welcomes announcement of poll
    
Gujarat chief minister and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi welcomed the Election Commission's announcement of poll dates in five states.
    
"I welcome announcement of polls in 5 states. Elections are a celebration of our democracy. We look forward to a healthy and spirited elections," Modi tweeted on micro-blogging site twitter.
    
Modi had addressed rallies in four poll-bound states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi ahead of the announcement of polls and is expected to campaign in these states ahead of the elections.

HIGHLIGHTS

•    Model code comes into immediate effect in five poll-bound states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh
•    Voters to get for the first time 'Non of the above'(NOTA) option in the upcoming polls in these states
•    Assembly election in Chhattisgarh to be held in two phases. First phase on November 11 and second phase on November 19
•    Assembly election in Madhya Pradesh to be held in a single phase on November 25
•    Assembly election in Rajasthan will be held on December 1
•    Assembly elections in Delhi and Mizoram will be held on December 4
•    The counting for all five states will be held on December 8

(Agencies)

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