Pre-Diwali elections in Haryana, Maharashtra | india | Hindustan Times
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Pre-Diwali elections in Haryana, Maharashtra

Single-phase assembly elections will be held in Maharashtra and Haryana on October 15, nearly five months after the BJP came to power at the Centre with an absolute majority. Counting of votes will be held on October 19, making it a relatively short poll process.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2014 23:58 IST
HT Correspondent
assembly elections

Single-phase assembly elections will be held in Maharashtra and Haryana on October 15, nearly five months after the BJP came to power at the Centre with an absolute majority. Counting of votes will be held on October 19, making it a relatively short poll process.

An aggressive campaign by now Prime Minister Narendra Modi saw the Congress being decimated to its lowest ever tally of 44 in the summer general elections. Though the Congress and its allies turned the tables on the BJP-led NDA in recent state bypolls, the Maharashtra and Haryana polls will be the first major electoral test of the BJP and the Modi government.

The BJP is hoping to repeat its Lok Sabha performance in both Congress-ruled states: the NDA had won 42 of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, and seven out of 10 in Haryana. It may be helped by the anti-incumbency factor, but soaring prices remains a critical issue.

Also, both the Congress and BJP are facing trouble from their allies with the NCP and Shiv Sena, respectively, haggling for a bigger slice of the seat-sharing pie in Maharashtra, which has 288 assembly seats.

Similar disagreements over seat-sharing in Haryana led to the BJP losing a partner, the Haryana Janhit Congress, recently. Most of the state’s 90 assembly seats are expected to witness multi-corned contests.

The immediate challenge for parties is to prepare for a reduced election period. Compared to the 40-45 days earlier polls took, starting from the announcement of dates to the counting of votes, the entire process in Haryana and Maharashtra will be completed in 39 days.

Election Commission officials, who announced the poll dates on Friday, said the process had been squeezed so that there would be minimal impact on the festival season in late October. This will also mean that the model code of conduct will be in force for the lowest possible period.

The immediate challenge for parties is to prepare for a reduced election period. Compared to the 40-45 days earlier polls took, starting from the announcement of dates to the counting of votes, the entire process in Haryana and Maharashtra will be completed in 39 days.

Election Commission officials, who announced the poll dates on Friday, said the process had been squeezed so that there would be minimal impact on the festival season in late October. This will also mean that the model code of conduct will be in force for the lowest possible period.