Election Commission likely to announce Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh Assembly election dates today

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Assembly election dates in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh will be announced today.the Gujarat elections will be held in 2 phases while the Himachal elections will be in a single phase. A few members of EC had indicated recently that Gujarat will go for polls in December 2017 as the current term of the term of the 182-member assembly ends in January, 2018.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) A K Jyoti has said that in more than 50,000 booths in Gujarat, the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) system will be used. The Congress announced Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh as the party's chief ministerial candidate last week. It was long back announced that the elections might be held in Dec, but the specific dates were yet to be decided.

The 2012 Gujarat legislative assembly elections were held in December 2012 for all 182 members of the state legislative assembly. VVPAT was first used in Goa polls earlier this year. The strength in the 182-member Gujarat House now comprises 115 BJP MLAs, 61 from the Congress, two from the NCP, and one from JD (U). "Assembly Elections will mostly be conducted in December", Joti said while addressing a press conference.

Gujarat election is crucial for Prime Minister Modi as he and most of his senior ministers will be tied up in the poll campaign, making it hard for them to give much time to the Parliament session. The tenure of the Himachal Pradesh government ends in November this year.

Himachal Pradesh has 68 seats and is governed by the Congress. Since 1985, the state has never re-elected an incumbent and the Congress and BJP have exchanged power.