Jharkhand gets into poll mode, 5-phase elections from Nov 27 | india | Hindustan Times
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Jharkhand gets into poll mode, 5-phase elections from Nov 27

india Updated: Oct 23, 2009 19:03 IST

Elections to the Jharkhand assembly would be held in five phases from November 27 to December 18, the poll panel announced in the capital on Friday as political parties in the state began gearing up for the voting.

Votes would be counted on December 23, Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla told reporters in Delhi.

Voting in the first phase on November 27 will be held in 30 of the 81 assembly constituencies. The second phase will be held on December 2 when polling will be held in 15 seats, Chawla said.

In the third phase on December 8, there will be polling in seven constituencies while voters in 14 and 15 seats will go to the polls on December 12 and 18 respectively in the fourth and the final phases.

With the Election Commission announcing the poll schedule, the model code of conduct came into effect in the state on Friday.

With the approval of teh union cabinet, the 81-member Jharkhand assembly, which was kept in suspended animation since January this year, was dissolved on Thursday.

The cabinet acted on the recommendation of state Governor K Sankaranarayanan. President's rule was imposed in the state on January 19 after the then chief minister Shibhu Soren lost a by-poll and had to resign.

Political parties in the state have already started the task of wooing voters.

The Congress is upbeat following its victory in Maharashtra and Arunachal Pradesh -- it is slated to take power in Haryana too after getting the support of seven newly elected independent legislators.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which got a drubbing in October's assembly elections, hopes to recover lost ground and says the situation in Jharkhand is different.

"The victory of the Congress will continue even in Jharkhand. We have won three states, and now it is Jharkhand's turn. The Congress will form the government in Jharkhand," said union Food Processing Minister and Ranchi Lok Sabha MP Subodh Kant Sahay.

State BJP president Raghubar Das was equally confident and said: "There will be no impact of the outcome of the three states as the situation in Jharkhand is different. Here people have made up their mind to vote for the BJP."

"If the Congress was so confident of victory, why did it not dissolve the assembly to hold elections along with the three states?" he asked.

The BJP president cited the example of the Lok Sabha elections in which the Congress suffered a humiliating defeat in the state. "The Congress lost its sitting seats and BJP won eight of the 14 seats, which indicates the mood of the people of the state."