Jharkhand next on the list, elections from Nov 27
Votes would be counted on Dec 23, Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla told reporters in Delhi.
Voting in the first phase Nov 27 will be held in 30 of the 81 assembly constituencies. The second phase will be held Dec 2 when polling will be held in 15 seats, Chawla said.
In the third phase on Dec 8, there will be polling in seven constituencies while voters in 14 and 15 seats will go to the polls on Dec 12 and 18 respectively in the fourth and the final phases.
With the Election Commission announcing the poll schedule, the model code of conduct came into effect in the state Friday.
With the approval of teh union cabinet, the 81-member Jharkhand assembly, which was kept in suspended animation since January this year, was dissolved Thursday.
The cabinet acted on the recommendation of state Governor K. Sankaranarayanan. President's rule was imposed in the state Jan 19 after the then chief minister Shibhu Soren lost a by-poll and had to resign.
Political parties in the state have already started the task of wooing voters.
The Congress is upbeat following its victory in Maharashtra and Arunachal Pradesh -- it is slated to take power in Haryana too after getting the support of seven newly elected independent legislators.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which got a drubbing in October's assembly elections, hopes to recover lost ground and says the situation in Jharkhand is different.
"The victory of the Congress will continue even in Jharkhand. We have won three states, and now it is Jharkhand's turn. The Congress will form the government in Jharkhand," said union Food Processing Minister and Ranchi Lok Sabha MP Subodh Kant Sahay.
State BJP president Raghubar Das was equally confident and said: "There will be no impact of the outcome of the three states as the situation in Jharkhand is different. Here people have made up their mind to vote for the BJP."
"If the Congress was so confident of victory, why did it not dissolve the assembly to hold elections along with the three states?" he asked.
The BJP president cited the example of the Lok Sabha elections in which the Congress suffered a humiliating defeat in the state. "The Congress lost its sitting seats and BJP won eight of the 14 seats, which indicates the mood of the people of the state."