NEW DELHI: The Election Commission Saturday announced the poll dates for Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand. The election will be the held in five phases in both the states. The polling dates for both states are the same: 25th November, 2nd December, 9th December, 14 December and 20th December. The counting of votes will be held on 23rd December, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath announced. He said the model code of conduct will come into force with immediate effect.
By-elections to three assembly seats in Delhi, which fell vacant after their MLAs resigned following their victories in Lok Sabha polls, will be held on November 25.
In Jammu and Kashmir 87 seats are up for fray and in Jharkhand the comeptition is for 81 seats. Congress enjoys power in both the states, but the current assemblies will expire in January 2015. Brushing aside demands from some quarters, mainly the ruling National Conference, that elections in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir be postponed, Sampath said the recent calamity will have no "special impact" on polls.
He said post-flood situation, along with other aspects like climate, festivals and law and order situation, have been taken into account while deciding the poll schedule.
"Except for one political party, most of the political parties (in Jammu and Kashmir) were in favour of holding elections on time. They said there is no reason, no justification for delaying the polls. The EC's mandate is to hold elections on time," he said.
Number of electors in Jammu and Kashmir as per electoral rolls is 72.25 lakhs and 207.44 lakhs in Jharkahnd, the CEC said.
Altogether 10,015 polling stations will be set up in Jammu and Kashmir and 24,648 in Jharkahnd.
To facilitate the voters to know where he/she is enrolled as a voter at a particular polling station and what is his/her serial number in the electoral roll, the Commission has directed that voter slip along with Photo (wherever present in the roll) will be distributed to all enrolled voters by the District Election Officer.
It has also been directed that the said voter slip should be in the languages in which electoral roll is published for that Assembly Constituency, Sampath said.
Voters can also exercise the None of The Above (NOTA) option.
"The Commission is taking steps to bring this to the knowledge of voters and all other stakeholders and to train all field level officials including the polling personnel about the NOTA option," a Commission statement said.
(With Agency inputs)