New Delhi:The schedules for the Assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh will be declared in "due time," Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath said today.The "elections will be announced in due time," he told reporters here on the sidelines of a seminar on 'Inclusive Voting and Electoral Participation'.

According to the EC sources, the dates for the polls in the two states are likely to be announced within a fortnight.
"All relevant factors, including festivals, seasonal conditions, natural conditions like snow-bound areas all these will be kept in view when we take a decision," Sampath said.He said, "We expect that voter participation would be much higher than anytime in the past" in the two states.
The sources said that Assembly polls in Gujarat are likely to be held in two phases between the second half of November and early December.The elections in Himachal Pradesh are likely to be held in a single phase this time by early December. Polls in the hill state the last time were held in two phases.
"The Commission may continue with the tradition of a two phased polling in Gujarat, keeping in view the sensitivity of the state. The announcement for polls will be made within the next fortnight," the sources said.

The Commission has already held discussions with the Home Ministry and it is expected that more than 35,000 personnel of central paramilitary forces and around 55,000 from state police will be deployed for the Gujarat polls.

Around 9,000 personnel from paramilitary forces and 14,000 from state police are likely to be deployed for Himachal elections.The Commission has also held a meeting with Income Tax officials for monitoring the use of money power in Gujarat polls, where more expenditure observers will be deployed this time.

Fearing use of money power, it is also engaged in identifying the "expenditure sensitive" constituencies in the state.Elections in the two states are due as the terms of the current assemblies of Gujarat with 182 members and that of Himachal with 68 members end on January 17 and 10 respectively.


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