Himachal Pradesh assembly elections to be held on Nov 9

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According to media reports, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti said the polls in Gujarat will be held before December 18.

The official said the reason the voting date for Himachal was fixed for November (resulting in a large gap with counting of votes) is due to the consideration of weather. "ECI has instructed state governments to assist differently-abled voters and they have already procured 200 wheelchairs to assist those who may not be able to walk to polling stations". "For the first time Himachal Pradesh will have 136 all-women managed booths", CEC Achal Kumar Jyoti said. Dates of elections and counting in Gujarat will be declared later.

To assess poll preparedness, a team of Election Commission officials headed by the CEC was on a visit to Gujarat recently.

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The Commission has also increased the size of the VVPAT paper trail.

"The arrangement has been made to make sure that the election in one state does not affect the outcome of the other state", the Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti said. Braille photo voter slips will be provided for visually-challenged voters.

Sources said it would be only a short session of three weeks as the Budget session is to start just after a month, in the third week of January, for early presentation and passing of the budget alike this year. 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. Political experts believe, along with local factors, voting preference may be influenced by Central government's big-ticket steps like GST and demonetization.

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