The Election Commission of India (EC) on Tuesday declared the schedule for by-elections in 12 Assembly constituencies across eight states — Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Telangana, Maharashtra, Punjab and Tripura.
The elections will be held on Saturday, 13 February, while the counting of the seats will take place on Tuesday, 16 February. The results will be declared on the same day, the EC said in an official statement released on Tuesday.
With the announcement of this schedule, the Model Code of Conduct has come into effect in all 12 constituencies, which are Deoband, Muzaffar Nagar and Bikapur in Uttar Pradesh; Devadurga, Bidar and Hebbal in Karnataka; Narayankhed in Telangana, Maihar in Madhya Pradesh, Palghar in Maharashtra, Khadoor Sahib in Punjab, Harlakhee in Bihar and Amarpur in Tripura.
Of these, Devadaurga in Karnataka and Palghar in Maharashtra are constituencies reserved for Scheduled Tribe candidates.
The full schedule also states that the date of issue of gazette notification for the by-elections is Wednesday, 20 January. The last date of filing nomination papers will be exactly a week later, i.e. 27 January. The scrutiny of the nomination papers will take place on Thursday, 28 January. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is Saturday, 30 January.
The EC has said in its official statement that although the voter ID card remains the primary identification document of people eligible to cast their votes, anyone willing to do so without the document will be allowed on the production of certain other identificatory documents, and the poll panel will issue separate instructions in this regard.
The EC also said that votes in all the by-elections would be recorded on electronic voting machines (EVMs) and that adequate number of EVMs would be made available for the polls.