The Election Commission will announce the dates of assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana on Saturday, around noon. The poll panel has convened a press conference. While the election dates for the third state to go to poll soon, Jharkhand will be released later.
The Maharashtra assembly’s term ends on November 9, while that of Haryana assembly expires on November 2. According to sources, voting in the two states could be held before Diwali, falling on October 27.
The model code of conduct will come into force in these states, as soon as the Election Commission will announce the poll dates, putting a break at governments dolling out schemes or sops.
The BJP –Shiv Sena alliance have already started their election campaigns. BJP campaign started with Maha Jan Aadesh Yatra headed by Maharashra’s Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis last month, to connect to voters across Maharashta. Infact PM Narendra Modi too took part in the campaign on Thursday.
The BJP and Shiv Sena are having some issues over seat sharing formula but according to reports, they might have overcome the roadblocks.
The Opposition parties, mainly Congress and NCP in Maharashtra have seen a mass exodus of its leaders to BJP and Shiv Sena. In Maharashtra, the BJP won 122 seats in 2014, while its alliance partner Shiv Sena won 63.
The main Opposition in Haryana, the Indian National Lok Dal has been reduced to a minority as most of its legislators and leaders have joined the BJP. Congress party is facing infighting and factionalism. Though, Congress might have stopped some of it by the appointment of Kumari Selja as the new Haryana chief, replacing Ashok Tanwar to placate Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Hooda was adamant that Ashok Tanwar should be removed from the post of the chief of Haryana Congress. He even organised a Parivartan Rally in Rohtak and met acting president Sonia Gandhi, threatening to form his own party.
Congress ruled the state for two consecutive terms till 2014. The BJP won a majority for the first time in the 90-member Haryana assembly, securing 47 seats in 2014.
In 2014, the elections in Maharashtra and Haryana took place in October while Jharkhand voted in five phases between November 25 and December 20.