New Delhi, Oct 12 (PTI) Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh will be held in a single phase on November 9 and the results will be declared on December 18, the Election Commission announced today.

The schedule for Gujarat will be announced separately but assembly elections in the state will be held before December 18, Chief Election Commissioner A K Joti said at a press conference.

This, he said, is being done to ensure that the voting pattern of one state does not affect the other state.

“The Model Code of Conduct comes into force immediately,” Joti said while announcing the poll schedule for Himachal Pradesh.

The code of conduct will be applicable for Himachal Pradesh as well as for the Union government in matters related to the state.

The poll process in Himachal Pradesh will start with the issue of the gazette notification on October 23 when candidates can start filing their nominations.

Joti, who was flanked by Election Commissioners O P Rawat and Sunil Arora, said the last date for filing of nominations is October 23.

After scrutiny on October 24, the last date for withdrawal of nominations is October 26, he said.

Himachal Pradesh will be the second state after Goa with 100 percent VVPAT (paper trail of votes) coverage. The paper trail machines will be deployed along with EVMs in all the 7,521 polling stations.

For the first time ever, the Election Commission will set up 136 all-woman managed polling booths in Himachal Pradesh, with each constituency having two women.

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

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.