Gujarat election date 2022: A volley of questions were raised when the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar did not announce the dates of Gujarat assembly election along with the Himachal Pradesh assembly election in a presser held in New Delhi on Friday (October 14).
The poll schedule was expected to be announced for both the states, however, skipping Gujarat left many baffled. The tenures of the Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat assemblies will end on January 8, 2023 and February 18, 2023 respectively.
Election Commission on why it didn’t announce Gujarat poll dates
“The Commission actually goes by the convention in announcing the schedule of elections. It went by the convention last followed”
–CEC Rajiv Kumar
The Election Commission has cited convention followed in 2017 for not announcing the assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat together. Noting that while following convention, EC in fact “refined” it, Kumar said the model code period has been reduced from 70 days to 57 from 2017 elections and from 81 days to 57 from 2012 elections when the two polls were held together. The wait for results has been reduced by two weeks than the 2017 elections.
“…the preparation and conduct of elections is very detailed exercise and it takes into account various factors, variable factors , consultations with all stakeholders and the factors which are competitive,”
— CEC added
Will counting of votes for Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh take place on same day, like in 2017?
It is quite possible that Election Commission could hold Gujarat elections in the November-December period so that the votes can be counted on the same day on December 8 along with that of Himachal Pradesh, as was the case in 2017. Five years back in 2017, the polls in the two state were announced on different dates but the counting took place together on December 18.
In 2017, Himachal Pradesh went to polls on November 9, while Gujarat exercised its franchise in two phases — December 9 and 14.
Opposition react as poll panel skips Gujarat election dates announcement
Some opposition leaders pointed out that announcing Gujarat elections later could allow the incumbent government to roll out more welfare schemes before the model code kicks in.
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that his party is not surprised by the development, “Obviously, this has been done to give more time to the PM to make some mega promises and carry out more inaugurations. Not at all surprising,” he tweeted.
obviously this has been done to give more time to the PM to make some mega promises & carry out more inaugurations. Not at all surprising. https://t.co/LF1Vhw4WAw
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) October 14, 2022
Himachal Pradesh assembly elections
The Election Commission (EC) on Friday announced the schedule for Himachal Pradesh assembly polls. The notification will be issued on October 17 and the polls will be held on November 12 in a single-phase. The counting of votes will take place on December 8. “There are a number of factors, like weather. We want to hold the Himachal elections before the onset of snow,” CEC noted.
(Inputs from agencies)