Jharkhand polls from Nov 25 now: EC | india | Hindustan Times
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Jharkhand polls from Nov 25 now: EC

india Updated: Oct 28, 2009 21:02 IST

The Election Commission on Wednesday announced that polls in Jharkhand will now begin November 25 instead of the earlier scheduled November 27.

The staggered elections to the Jharkhand assembly will be held in five phases now from Nov 25 to December 18, it said.

The decision to change the poll dates was taken after the poll panel was approached by the representative of various political parties as November 27 was an important date for both the Muslims and Hindus.

The poll panel said it had also received inputs from the home ministry, the central and state governments with regard to the date of first phase of polling in the general election to the assembly.

"After due consideration, the commission has decided that the polls for the first phase of election to Jharkhand legislative assembly shall be taken on November 25, instead of November 27 as earlier communicated," a statement issued here said.

Polls will be held from 7 am to 3 pm.

"The schedule for election in the remaining four phases shall remain unchanged," it added.

Votes would be counted December 23.

Now the notification will be issued October 31, while the last date for making nominations will be November 7, the Election Commission said.

The scrutiny will be done November 9 and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures will be Nov 11, it added.

Various Muslim organisations and political parties had threatened to boycott the first phase of Jharkhand's assembly elections November 27 as it fell on a Friday, a day before Eid, when mass prayers are offered.

The Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) had backed the Muslim groups in their demand. Besides, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was also unhappy with November 27 because auspicious marriage dates begin from that day and thousands of weddings were scheduled.

Over 1.8 million voters are eligible to cast their votes in the state where a popular government has to be installed before January 18. Of the 81 seats, 28 have been reserved for Scheduled Tribes and nine for Scheduled Castes.