Haryana, Maharashtra to go for polls on Oct 21; MCC comes into effect

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Saturday announced that the single-phase Assembly elections for the 288-member Maharashtra and 90-member Haryana Assembly will be held on October 21, while the counting of votes will be done on October 24. 

The election dates were announced in a press conference by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners (EC) Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra. 

As per norms, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) immediately comes into force from today in both the states. 

The terms of the Legislative Assemblies of Haryana and Maharashtra are due to expire on November 2 and November 9, respectively, Arora said. Out of 90, 17 are reserved for SCS and none for STs in Haryana, while Maharashtra Assembly has 29 seats reserved for SCS and 25 for STs out of the total of 288 seats, Arora said. 

There are 1,82,98,714 voters in Haryana this time, while Maharashtra has 8,95,62,706 registered voters.Arora shared that special security arrangements will be made for LWE affected areas in Gadchiroli and Gondia in Maharashtra. 

On the demand of increasing expenditure limit, Arora said that political parties have been informed that it is not possible. On a question about Jharkhand, Arora said, "The issue of simultaneous election is still not settled. The tenure is yet to get over in Jharkhand." The Electoral photo identity cards (EPIC) coverage in final electoral rolls of 2nd SSR is 100 per cent for Haryana and 96.81 per cent for Maharashtra. 

By-elections for one Lok Sabha seat in Bihar and 64 Assembly constituencies have also been announced by the Election Commission- Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, MP, Meghalaya, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh, which will be held on October 21 whereas counting will be on October 24. 
On September 1, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa visited Haryana, whereas Commission visited Maharashtra on September 17 and 18 to review the poll preparedness. 

Meanwhile, the Election Commission also announced today that the by-elections to Samastipur Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar and 64 Assembly constituencies across 17 states and Puducherry Union Territory, including the seats held by disqualified MLAs in Karnataka and 11 seats in Uttar Pradesh, will be held on October 21. 

Counting of votes in the bye-elections will be taken up on October 24 along with the votes cast in Assembly elections of Maharashtra and Haryana, Arora said. 

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