Jharkhand polls likely to be held in Dec | india | Hindustan Times
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Jharkhand polls likely to be held in Dec

india Updated: Oct 20, 2009 00:03 IST

Setting the stage for assembly polls in Jharkhand, the Centre would take a call on the dissolution of the Jharkhand assembly — which has been in suspended animation for nine months — within a week.

The Home Ministry expects the Election Commission of India to hold elections to the 82-member assembly in December.

The home ministry last week had indicated the government’s inability to provide security forces for the National Games in Jharkhand. The Indian Olympic Association had put off the National Games three days ago, scheduled to be held in Ranchi from November 21 to December 5.

A preliminary meeting of home ministry officials and the election commission to explore the requirement of security forces was also held last week.

Last Monday, Attorney General (AG) G.E Vahanvati told a bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan that the Chief Election Commissioner had assured him that the election dates would be notified soon.

The AG’s assurance came during a hearing on a petition by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Jharkhand unit that wanted the court to direct the Central government to immediately announce polls in the state.

The Jharkhand Assembly has been in suspended animation since January 19 after Shibu Soren resigned as Chief Minister on losing the assembly by-election. There was no clear majority for any political party or coalition.

In July, the Parliament extended Governor’s rule by another six months on the home ministry’s promise to hold elections before expiry of the six-month period, 18 January 2010.

Governor Kateekal Sankaranarayanan is understood to have recommended dissolution of the assembly three to four weeks back, sources in Jharkhand government told Hindustan Times.