New Delhi: Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram will go to polls on different days from November 7-30 and votes will be counted for the five states on December 3, the Election Commission said on Monday, setting the stage for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Nearly 16 crore voters would be eligible to cast their votes in these elections, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar said at a press conference while asserting that strong measures are being put in place to make these polls inducement-free.
Voting for all 40 assembly seats in Mizoram will take place on November 7 along with the first phase of polling for 20 seats in Chhattisgarh.
The remaining 70 seats in Chhattisgarh will go to polls on November 17 alongside all 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh.
Voting for all 200 assembly seats in Rajasthan will take place on November 23, while the 119-member Telangana Assembly will be the last to go to polls on November 30.
Counting of votes for all five states will take place on December 3, CEC Kumar said.
This will be the last set of assembly elections ahead of the Lok Sabha polls next year.
While Congress is in power in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh is ruled by BJP, Telangana by Bharat Rashtra Samithi and Mizoram by Mizo National Front (MNF).
Kumar said these five states will have 1.77 lakh polling stations, of which 1.01 lakh will have webcasting facility.
More than 8,000 polling stations will be managed by women, he said.
“We have gathered here after a gap of six months. These elections are significant for the country and after this, we will meet for the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections,” Kumar said.
“We have met all stakeholders, including political parties and enforcement agencies, while preparing for the assembly elections in Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana,” he said.
The CEC said the Election Commission (EC) has given a special emphasis on making electoral rolls inclusive and the focus will also be on “roll-to-poll”, or ensuring that all voters come to vote.
Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Mizoram will have 8.2 crore male and 7.8 crore female voters, while there will be 60.2 lakh first-time voters, he said.
For the first time, Kumar said, a new Election Seizure Management System is being introduced for the assembly polls to enhance oversight to ensure inducement-free elections.
A total of 940 checkposts have been put in place for a strict vigil along interstate borders and to dry up inflow of illicit liquor, cash, freebies and drugs, he said.
There will be zero tolerance for the use of money power and there will be a strict vigil over suspicious online cash transfers through wallets as well, the CEC said.