The Election Commission said today afternoon that Delhi assembly polls will be held on February 7, 2015. About 1.30 crore people are expected to vote.
The last date for filing nominations for candidates is January 21. "The model code of conduct comes into immediate effect," said Veeravalli Sundaram Sampath, chief election commissioner.
The outcome of the election, which will be three-way contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress, will be announced three days after the election. Delhi has 70 assembly seats.
The state has been under President's Rule since February last year. Former chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who led AAP, had resigned after 49 days in office over differences with the Congress party over key legislation. The Congress party was supporting AAP after BJP, which had won the largest number of seats, decided not to form a government.
AAP's tenure was marked by conflicts with electricity and water agencies as Kejriwal cut utility rates drastically. His government also went for public sit-ins, which was unusual for a chief minister.
Latest opinion polls predict that BJP might again emerge as the largest party, followed by AAP. Last time, Kejriwal had scored a major win over former chief minister Sheila Dikshit. He remains popular, and about two-third of respondents said they were satisfied with his performance during his brief stint as chief minister, and 35 percent said they would vote for him again. But his party is not as popular as it was during the last elections and might win less seats.
AAP might be more encouraged after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Delhi on Saturday, where the crowd was much less than the BJP had expected and talked about in the build-up to the event.
All opinion polls say the Congress party will have a poor showing with merely 3-5 seats. Prior to the last election, Dikshit had led the Congress to power for three consecutive terms until a spate of corruption scandals hit the party both at the centre and states.