EC announces poll schedule for MP, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana

The counting of votes in all states will take place on December 3.
Chief Election Commission of India Rajiv Kumar announces schedule of elections to Legislative Assemblies of 5 states.(Photo |Parveen Negi, EPS)
Chief Election Commission of India Rajiv Kumar announces schedule of elections to Legislative Assemblies of 5 states.(Photo |Parveen Negi, EPS)

NEW DELHI: People in five states— Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana will vote for their new government in the month of November as the Election Commission (EC) of India announced the assembly election schedule on Monday. The counting of votes in all states will take place on December 3.

Chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar said that polling in Mizoram would be in one phase on November 7. The nominations will start on October 20. The voting in Chhattisgarh will be held in two phases; on November 7 and 17.

Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana will also have polling in a single phase. People in Madhya Pradesh will exercise their franchise on November 17 and in Rajasthan on November 23. The voting in Telangana will happen on November 30.  

Kumar said that the process to hold free and fair elections to five assembly elections had started six months during which the elections officials made several visits to the poll-bound states. He added that the electoral rolls were revised with an aim to include each and every eligible voter.

“Meetings were held with the representatives of enforcement agencies such as state police, income tax, narcotics, and railways to prevent malpractices having potential to influence the election process,” said Kumar.

The term of the Mizoram assembly ends on December 17. The Mizo National Front is in power in the northeastern state.  The terms of the legislative assemblies of Telangana, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan end on different dates in January next year. While the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) rules Telangana, Madhya Pradesh is ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The Congress is in power in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.

With the announcement of election schedules, the model code of conduct (MCC) also comes into effect.

With just a few months left to 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the forthcoming assembly elections will be watched closely as they will not only decide the political landscape at the state level but are likely to have an impact at the national level politics and may result in strategic alignment and alliances of political parties. These elections are being seen as crucial contests in the run up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP will make bid for their third consecutive government at the Centre.

The contests in different constituencies are likely to have high-octane battles as the parties are expected to nominate their senior leaders to join the fray especially in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

The president of Mizo National Front (MNF) was sworn in as chief minister of the state for the third time in 2018 as his party had captured 26 seats in the 40-member House. The Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) has six and Congress has five members in the assembly while the BJP and TMC have one MLA each.

Bhupesh Baghel took oath as the chief minister as the Congress had romped home to power in Chhattisgarh after 15 years with a two-third majority. It had secured 68 seats in the 90-member House. At present, it has 71 MLAs and the BJP has 15 members in the House.

In 2020, senior BJP Shivraj Singh Chouhan took charge of the state as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh for the fourth time though his government was voted out of power in the 2018 elections. The Congress secured a narrow majority in the December 2018 elections, after which Congress leader Kamal Nath became the CM. However, following the rebellion by his party colleague Jyodiraditya Scindia, who joined the BJP, and resignations of 22 Congress MLAs, Nath had to resign thus Chouhan returned as the CM.

Congress veteran Ashok Gehlot is at helm in Rajasthan since 2018. In the last assembly elections in Rajasthan, the Congress won 99 seats of the 199. Then ruling BJP bagged 73 seats and the BSP six.

BRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao led his party to a resounding victory in the assembly elections for a second straight term in Telangana. BRS won 88 seats in the 119-member assembly defeating the Congress-led People's Front, which could only manage a tally of 21.

On Friday, the Commission held a meeting with police and observers in states and asked them to ensure a level-playing field by working in a coordinated manner to ensure free, fair and inducement-free elections.

Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey said that the election should not only be fair but also seen to be fair. He instructed the observers to keep an eye on social media and ensure corrective actions.

The attendees were also briefed the observers on various important subjects related to election such as electronic voting machines (EVMs), electoral rolls, model code of conduct (MCC), expenditure, legal provisions, IT initiatives, Media Certification and monitoring Committee (MCMC) and standard operating procedures related to social media.

Around 1,180 officials including bureaucrats and accounts services officers attended the sessions.

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