Maharashtra assembly polls: EC officials may announce dates after review meetings
An official from the office of Maharashtra’s chief electoral officer said the dates for the assembly elections are unlikely to be announced until the commission’s review meetings are over.Updated: Sep 16, 2019 15:51 IST
A delegation of the Election Commission of India will visit Maharashtra for review meetings with stakeholders on Tuesday and Wednesday in Mumbai ahead of the assembly elections scheduled to be held next month, a state poll official said on Monday.
The official from the office of Maharashtra’s chief electoral officer said the dates for the assembly elections are unlikely to be announced until the commission’s review meetings are over.
“We expect the announcement to be done on September 19 or 20. We require at least 35 days to complete the election process, including counting of votes. We will have to complete it before Diwali, which is on October 27,” the official said.
A three-member team, headed by chief election commissioner Sunil Arora, will hold a series of meetings during the two-day visit. They will meet officials from the state poll unit, police, nodal officials from various central departments, including railways, income tax and excise, as well as those from the state, on Tuesday evening to take stock of the preparation.
On the following day, the team will meet leaders of political parties, collectors, divisional commissioners and police officials from all districts and cities before addressing a press conference in the evening.
The election panel officials will also talk about the requirement of the additional force from the Centre and hear out political parties on their expectations and suggestions. The state unit has already raised the demand for additional central forces during the elections.
The state poll unit official said that a team of deputy election commissioners had held meetings with state government officials, including the chief secretary and director general of police, in the first week of September.
“They had also discussed the preparedness in the flood-affected districts. They were apprised about the steps taken by the district administration to ensure facilities to the voters in those districts,” the official said.
The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had contested the assembly polls in 2014 separately after sharing power for 15 years in the state. The two parties had parted ways following disagreements over seat-sharing. The Congress bagged 42 seats while the NCP got 41.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the single largest party with 122 seats and the Shiv Sena, which also fought separately, secured 63.
Elections in Maharashtra will be held along with Haryana and Jharkhand in October-November this year.
First Published: Sep 16, 2019 15:51 IST