Saturday, 25 November, 2017

Himachal polls on Nov 9, results on Dec 18

PM Narendra Modi visited Bihar on Saturday first after BJP teamed up with JDU in the state PM Narendra Modi visited Bihar on Saturday first after BJP teamed up with JDU in the state
Erik Tate | 16 October, 2017, 02:08

The Election Commission's decision not to announce the schedule for the upcoming assembly polls in Gujarat simultaneously with Himachal Pradesh has not gone down well with former chief election commissioners.

Voting for the 68-seat Himachal Pradesh Assembly will take place on November 9 and the results will be declared on December 18.

The last of the state polls in 2017 are upon us.

The Congress leader said that the "onus lies on the EC to ensure level playing field by announcing Gujarat election dates and imposing Code of Conduct immediately".

The Congress party has been accusing the BJP of putting pressure on the Election Commission to delay the polls in Gujarat.

However, CEC AK Joti refuted these allegations, saying that "the state government had sought more time as it did not want an unusually longer period of the model code of conduct".

In seven elections, Himachal has alternated between the two parties, while Gujarat has mostly been a BJP bastion, with 1985 being the last time the Congress won a decisive mandate.

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They went on to say that deferring the announcement of Gujarat polls dates is not only a "blot" on the functioning of the EC but it also amounts to the violation of the Constitution.

From the dates announced for the Prime Minister's visits to Gujarat this week it becomes clear that space has been left for the announcement of more sops directed at the state's electorate before the model code of conduct is clamped.

The EC on Thursday announced the poll schedule for Himachal Pradesh whose assembly's term will end on January 7 next year, but withheld the schedule for Gujarat whose assembly's term ends on January 22 next year. Union minister Jitender Singh said that Congress party was questioning the wisdom and prudence of the constitutional body.

He said the announcement had also cast "a serious shadow of suspicion on the working of the Election Commission".

He had said that besides availability of central forces and festive season, the Gujarat government had told the Commission that several relief and rehabilitation works were on in the state following the July floods.

Singh has to counter the BJP's campaign against him while fighting detractors within the Congress party, like state party chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu.

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