New Delhi: The dates of the Assembly elections of Maharashtra and Haryana have been announced by the Election Commission. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora announced at a press conference on Saturday that the two states would go to polls on 21 October. The results will be out on 24 October for both the states.
Announcing the dates on Saturday, the chief election commissioner said that the entire process of elections would be over before the festival of Diwali.
The complete schedule for Maharashtra and Haryana elections is as follows:
- Notification date: 27 September
- Last date for enrollment: 4 October
- Scrutiny date: 5 October
- Date of withdrawal of nominations: 7 October
- Last day of election campaign: 19 October
- Voting: 21 October.
- Results: 24 October
The press conference of the Election Commission was held at 12 noon on Saturday. With this, the model code of conduct has now come into force in Maharashtra and Haryana.
By-elections are to be held in 64 seats of Maharashtra and Haryana as well as some other states. Their dates have been announced by the Election Commission, too.
Maharashtra, Haryana: What is at stake
The last time, the BJP and Shiv Sena fought elections separately in Maharashtra, but in the Lok Sabha election, both the parties were together. In this state with 288 Assembly seats, the Congress-NCP coalition will contest 125-125 seats this time.
In the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly election, the BJP won 122 seats with 27.8% votes and Shiv Sena won 63 seats with 19.3% votes. The Congress won 42 seats with 18% votes while the NCP won 41 seats with 17.2 % votes.
There are a total of 90 seats in Haryana. The BJP has set a target of ‘Mission 75’. In the 2014 Assembly election, the BJP had won 47 seats with 33.20% of vote share. The Congress had been reduced to 17 seats. The INLD got 19 seats in that election. The remaining seats were won by independent candidates and local parties.
The party entrusted an unexpected Manohar Lal Khattar with the job to lead the Haryana government. It was considered a bold act executed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the rest of the BJP leadership that dared not to continue with the convention of making a Jat the chief minister of Haryana invariably every time.
The choice of Devendra Fadnavis as the chief minister of Maharashtra was as unexpected, as political observers were speculating after the Assembly poll result that Nitin Gadkari would be sent from the Centre for the purpose.