Assembly elections will be held in Haryana and Maharashtra in a single phase on October 21. Counting of votes will take place on October 24 and the results will be out on the same day, the Election Commission (EC) announced on Saturday.

The five-year term of the Legislative Assemblies of Haryana and Maharashtra expires on November 2 and November 9 respectively.

The notification for the elections will be issued on September 27. The last date for filing nomination is October 4, while the scrutiny of the nomination papers will be done on October 5. The last day for withdrawing nominations is October 7.

Special security arrangements will be made for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas in Gadchiroli and Gondia in Maharashtra, Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora said at a press briefing.

Taking into account the impact of election campaigns on the environment, the Election Commissioner urged political parties to avoid the use of plastic and use only environment-friendly material in their campaigns.

The Election Commission of India has also assured all stakeholders of the quality of EVMs during assembly elections in both Maharashtra and Haryana.

The upper limit for expenditure on the election campaign is Rs 28 lakh for each candidate, CEC Sunil Arora announced.

Two special expenditure observers will be sent to Maharashtra. In addition, Income Tax officials will be present.

Haryana has 1.82 crore registered voters and Maharashtra has 8.94 crore voters.

In the 2014 Maharashtra assembly polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the single largest party with 122 seats and the Shiv Sena, which also fought separately, secured 63. The Congress secured 42 seats, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) 41 seats while others managed 20.

The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party will contest 125 seats each of the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, while other allies will contest the remaining 38 in the polls this time.

In the 2014 Assembly polls in Haryana, the BJP won 47 seats followed by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) at 19 while the ruling Congress managed just 15 seats. Two seats went to the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC), and one each to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Five Independents were also elected.

CEC Sunil Arora further announced that by-elections to 64 constituencies across Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, MP, Meghalaya, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh will be held on October 21. Counting will be conducted on October 24.