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Himachal Pradesh will go to polls on November 9, the Election Commission of India announced on Thursday. Results will be declared on December 18.

Chief election commissioner AK Joti said the polls in Gujarat will be held on December 18, so that results of Himachal Pradesh have no impact on them. Dates of elections in Gujarat will be declared later.

If the last round of assembly elections in five states, especially in Uttar Pradesh, was projected by the BJP as a vindication of the NDA government’s demonetisation gambit, the elections for the 68-member Himachal assembly could become a test of public support for its economic policies, especially the goods and services tax (GST) that triggered protests by traders in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.The next round of elections could have implications for the NDA government’s economic model, too. 

While the BJP’s victories in these elections could embolden the Centre to stick to its fiscal consolidation path and go for some bold reforms, especially in the labour sector, an adverse poll outcome could put pressure on the government to opt for populism, especially with eight states going to polls next year that would set the momentum for 2019 general elections.
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