Gujarat Elections National

“No Rules Violated”: ECI On Not Announcing Gujarat Elections Date Today


ECI said, “There is a gap of 40 days between the end of the assemblies of the two states. According to the rules, it should be at least 30 days”

Gandhinagar: This year-end Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh will be voting and electing their state government. The Election Commission of India (ECI) held a press conference in Delhi on Friday at Vigyan Bhawan. While making the election dates announcement ECI announced dates of Himachal Pradesh and not of Gujarat. On being asked why, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said that no rules were violated.

Traditionally election dates of both the states are announced at the same time.

Answering the reporters during the press conference, Rajiv Kumar said, “There is a gap of 40 days between the end of the assemblies of the two states. According to the rules, it should be at least 30 days so that one result doesn’t impact the other.”

The term of the Gujarat assembly ends on February 18 while that of Himachal Pradesh ends on January 8. Recently the Election Commission of India visited both states and reviewed the election preparedness. The team was led by Chief ECI Chief Rajiv Kumar.

“There are a number of factors, like weather, we want to hold the Himachal elections before the onset of snow,” he explained. He further added  that the Commission had held consultations with “various stakeholders.”

Also Read: Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022: Polling On November 12, Counting Of Votes On December 8

“The Model Code of Conduct will apply to Himachal Pradesh for a fewer number of days 57 days instead of 70,” said the election commission chief.

Many questioned him for his defence. Usually the gap between the voting date and counting date is not this long in Himachal Pradesh. The state votes on November 12 and the results will be declared almost a month later, on December 8.

This gap has fueled speculations of Election Commission keeping a window to declare elections in Gujarat soon and had only deferred the announcement, for unknown reasons, the votes could still be counted on the same day.

On being questioned about the possibility of votes being counted in Gujarat too on December 8,  Rajiv Kumar said: “When we come for Gujarat, we will tell you this.”

The Gujarat assembly has 182 seats with 92 as the majority mark. Himachal Pradesh has 68 assembly seats, 35 being the majority.

The last elections were held in 2017. In the 2017 elections, the BJP won 99 seats in Gujarat and the Congress 77. In Himachal Pradesh, the BJP won 44 seats and Congress 21.

The state is witnessing back-to-back rallies and visits by top leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This has set the stage for the crucial elections in the two BJP-ruled states.

AAP is challenging BJP which has been in power in Gujarat for 22 years. Delhi CM and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal is making frequent visits to the state and making several election promises.

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