EC's withholding of Gujarat poll schedule 'strange': CPI-M

EC's withholding of Gujarat poll schedule 'strange': CPI-M

EC's withholding of Gujarat poll schedule 'strange': CPI-M

Chief Election Commissioner A K Jyoti has now claimed that the delay in the announcement was keeping in mind the state's welfare. The normal EC practice is that dates for elections held within about 150 days are announced together.

The next round of elections could have implications for the NDA government's economic model, too.

"The anomaly of announcing elections in Himachal Pradesh first, and not announcing the elections in Gujarat, casts a serious shadow of suspicion on the workings of the Election Commission", he said. The party is being led by incumbent chief minister Vijay Rupani in the state. The Opposition has criticized the EC decision to not announce Gujarat poll date.

While the term of the 182-member Gujarat Assembly, where the BJP is in power, ends on January 22, the term of the 68-member Himachal Pradesh, ruled by the Congress, Assembly ends on January 7.

Mr. Singhvi said the BJP "is trying its best to influence the functioning of the Election Commission".

The Congress has alleged that the announcement for Gujarat was deferred to ensure that a model code of conduct - which does not allow announcement of sops - would come into force only after the Prime Minister's visit.

Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh will be held as a single phase on November 9 and the Counting of votes will be held on December 18, 2017, the Election Commission of India announced today. As soon as a voter casts his vote, a screen attached to the VVPAT machine will flash the symbol of the party and the candidate's name for seven seconds so that the voter can verify his vote, said state election commission officials to journalists.

Singhvi also took a dig at the prime minister, asking why simultaneous elections were not declared for Himachal and Gujarat when he had been talking about holding simultaneous polls for all states across the country.

Each candidate will have to maintain a separate account of poll expenses, which have been capped at a maximum of Rs 28 lakh for Himachal Pradesh.

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".

The CEC further announced that VVPAT machines along with EVMs will be used in upcoming Himachal Pradesh elections.

Identification of the voters at the polling booth at the time of poll shall be mandatory.

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