“In Maharashtra and Haryana, the notification will be issued on September 27. The last date of filing nominations is October 4. Polling will be held on October 21 while counting will take place on October 24,” Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora said while addressing a press conference. Follow highlights on EC presser
Both Maharashtra and Haryana, where the term of the assembly ends on November 9 and November 2, respectively, are the first states to go to polls after the Lok Sabha elections. With the announcements, the Model Code of Conduct has come into effect in the two states.
Arora said, “Every new election, there are new insights and learnings for the future. Both Haryana and Maharashtra are sound-fitting in terms of poll preparation. All types are arrangements are being made for the voters. Candidates will require to fill all the columns in their poll form. The Election Commission is privileged to play a role in democracy.”
Asserting that there is a Rs 28 lakh-cap on poll expense on each candidate, the CEC said, “We appeal the candidates to use environment-friendly materials. We reassure all the stakeholders about the quality of electronic voting machines. Special security arrangements will be made for Left-Wing Extremist affected areas in Gadchiroli and Gondia in Maharashtra.”
On the other hand, the poll panel chief also announced the date of bye-elections in 64 constituencies across the country. “Bye-elections to the 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 also be held on October 21; counting of votes will take place on October 24,” CEC Arora said.
Maharashtra, which has a total of 288 assembly seats, will see a direct contest between the ruling BJP–Shiv Sena combine and Congress-NCP alliance. Whereas, in 90-member Haryana assembly, the ruling BJP will aim to fend off Congress to secure a second term.
As many as 24 senior NCP leaders — including 13 serving legislators and 10 former ministers — have defected to join either the BJP or the Shiv Sena since the Congress-NCP alliance’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls. In 2014, the two parties had contested the state elections separately. Sharad Pawar had ended the 15-year alliance after the two parties had been unable to reach a seat-sharing arrangement. Congress had won 42 seats while the NCP had won 41 seats in 2014. The BJP had emerged as the single-largest party in the state with 122 seats.
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