Here’s why the Election Commission didn’t announce Gujarat Assembly Polls

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Here’s why the Election Commission didn’t announce Gujarat Assembly Polls | Photo: File (Representational image)

The Election Commission revealed the dates for the upcoming Himachal Pradesh election on Friday but did not disclose the dates for the Gujarat election. The reason behind this has been explained by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar.

“The gap between tenure of two assemblies (Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat) is 40 days. To ensure that one result does not affect the other, it must be at least 30 days according to the guidelines, explained CEC. He claimed that concerns like the effect of one election’s outcome on another are also taken into account.

He explained that weather plays a significant role in places like Himachal Pradesh, particularly in the upper ranges. “In Himachal Pradesh, there are a number of factors like weather. Before the snow starts to fall, we want to hold the Himachal Pradesh polls, Kumar continued.

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In 2017, the polls for the two states’ elections were revealed on different days, but the results were announced together on December 18. The schedule for the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections was released by the EC on Friday. The elections are set to be held on November 12 while the notification will be announced on October 17. The voting results will be counted on December 8.

When asked if the Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat ballots would be counted together on December 8, Kumar responded, “When we come for Gujarat (poll announcement), we will tell you this.” Gujarat’s elections might still take place in November or December, allowing for the same-day vote counting that took place in 2017.

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Some opposition leaders said that delaying the announcement of the Gujarat elections could enable the current administration to implement further benefit programmes before the model code takes effect. The model code time has been cut from 70 days to 57 days from the 2017 elections and from 81 days to 57 days from the 2012 elections, when the two elections were held together, according to Kumar, noting that the EC “improved” it rather than just following precedent.

The wait time for the results has been shortened from the 2017 elections by two weeks. According to the CEC, “the preparation and conduct of elections is a highly complex process and it takes into account numerous elements, variable factors, discussions with all stakeholders, and the factors which are competitive.”

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