Single phase polls in 4 states, two-phased in Chhattisgarh

New Delhi: Considered a semi-final before the Lok Sabha polls, assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Mizoram will be held in a single phase between November 25 and December 4, while it will be two- phased in Chhattisgarh on November 11 and 19.
 
Counting of votes in all the states will be on December 8, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath told a press conference today.
 
While Madhya Pradesh will go to polls on November 25 to elect its 230-member assembly, elections for the 200-member Rajasthan assembly will be held on December 1. Assembly polls in Delhi with 70 constituencies and Mizoram with 40 seats will be held on December 4.
 
The Election Commission has also decided to hold bye- elections to the Surat (West) assembly constituency in Gujarat and Yercaud assembly seat in Tamil Nadu on December 4.
 
"The Model Code of Conduct comes into immediate effect with the announcement of dates," the CEC said announcing that the Commission is deploying adequate general observers, police observers, expenditure observers and awareness observers to ensure free and fair polls.
 
Voters will for the first time also exercise the "None of the Above" (NOTA) option during these assembly polls after the Supreme Court allowed it in a recent judgement. The Commission is making arrangements so that voters can exercise this option and will create awareness on it.
 
"The Commission is working out details and steps for introducing NOTA in this election itself," Sampath said.
 
In another first, the EC will also deploy "awareness observers" to oversee management of the electoral process and help bridge the gap in people's participation to ensure higher voter turnout and also check the menace of "paid news".
 
A total of 630 assembly constituencies in five states will go to polls in which a total of 11.60 crore voters are likely to exercise their franchise.
 
The poll process will be initiated on October 18 with the issue of notification for the first phase of elections in Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh to elect its 90-member assembly.