Election in five states, Nota option introduced

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On Friday the Election Commission of India announced that assembly elections will take place in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram in November-December.

Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath told the media polling will take place in Chhattisgarh Nov 11 and 19, Madhya Pradesh will see a day’s balloting Nov 25. Rajasthan will vote Dec 1, and Delhi and Mizoram on Dec 4. Counting for all the states will be held on December 8, and the poll process complete by December 11.

He said a total of 110 million people will be eligible to vote in the elections, which comes months before the Lok Sabha elections due in 2014.

“All measures are in place to conduct free and fair polls,” Sampath said, putting the number of polling stations at 130,000 in all five states.

For the first time, the EC will provide “none of the above” (NOTA) button on electronic voting machines (EVMs). “On the balloting unit, below the name of the last candidate, there will now be a button for NOTA option so that electors who do not want to vote for any of the candidates can exercise this option by pressing the button against NOTA.
He said the Commission would be spreading awareness among the voters about this new option, through field-level officials to be especially trained for the purpose.

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be the main players in Delhi, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh although the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has emerged as a third force in the national capital.

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