Gujarat to be kept out of HP shadow
HP poll results to be on hold for 40 days
The Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh will be held on November 9 but the results will be announced on December 18, simultaneously with the results of the Gujarat Assembly elections. The dates of the polls in Gujarat will be declared "shortly," as was also done last time in 2012.
In 2012, Himachal went to polls on November 4 and Gujarat in two phases, on December 13 and 17, while the results in both states were announced on December 20.
Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Joti gave a long explanation at a press conference why he was not announcing the Gujarat Assembly election dates but ultimately let it out that the Gujarat announcement will be made "shortly," to ensure that the outcome of the Himachal results do not have an influence on the voting in Gujarat.
That is why the counting of votes in Himachal Pradesh on December 18, 40 days after the polling.
The Gujarat elections may be announced as late as in the last week of October to meet the 46-day criteria. Joti explained the polling may be held as late as on December 16, two days before the counting. The polling is most likely to be in a single phase across the state, but it could be between December 10 and 16, if held in two phases like last time.
The Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat Assembly elections will be the last to be conducted by Joti before he retires as CEC on January 23. A retired Gujarat cadre IAS officer, he was elevated as the CEC only on July 6.
He is credited with the launch of then Chief Minister Narendra Modi's Vibrant Gujarat drive. Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat, a retired MP cadre IAS officer who is the next in seniority, will also be retiring as CEC on December 2, 2018, after starting and, maybe, completing the Assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as his last act. The man at the helm as the CEC, who will conduct the next Lok Sabha elections, is Sunil Arora, a retired Rajasthan cadre IAS officer who became the Election Commissioner on August 31.