Telangana elections to be held by year-end? Poll panel to decide today

The EC has six months to complete the polling process in a state starting from the date of dissolution of the assembly, according to rules.
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao at a public rally at Pragati Nivedana Sabha in Kongara Kalan, Telangana.(PTI File Photo)
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao at a public rally at Pragati Nivedana Sabha in Kongara Kalan, Telangana.(PTI File Photo)
Updated on Sep 07, 2018 12:10 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

The Election Commission (EC) will meet on Friday to take a call on whether polls in Telangana, where the assembly has been dissolved, can be clubbed with the upcoming elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram.

The commission has the necessary infrastructure to club the Telangana polls with those of the other states, said an official aware of the developments, but will need to verify whether the electoral rolls in the state are updated.

According to another official aware of the developments, the EC will take a decision on scheduling the Telangana polls after getting a detailed report from the state’s chief electoral officer on various aspects of poll preparedness. neither official wished to be identified.

Asked if the poll panel has the wherewithal -- electronic voting machines, voter verifiable paper audit trail machines, security personnel -- to hold simultaneous elections in five states, the first official said: “The commission has the necessary infrastructure to be able to hold elections in all five states, but that decision will taken once all other aspects are examined.”

The most important aspect is the preparation of electoral rolls. Since most states have until January 2019 to submit updated rolls, the EC will have to review the status of voter registration in Telangana.

“The chief electoral officer’s report covers all aspects that have to be taken into consideration for polls -- from holidays in the state to examination schedules, since polling stations are located mostly in school and college premises. They also take into account the weather conditions before announcing the schedule,” the second official said.

The EC has six months to complete the polling process in a state starting from the date of dissolution of the assembly, according to rules.

“The commission will have to keep two things in mind -- one is the six month-period and the other is proximity. If a situation arises where elections for a new assembly have to be held between two other scheduled polls, the gap between them should be such that the outcome of one election does not impact the results of the other,” the second official said.

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