The Election Commission on Saturday (September 21) declared that assembly polls to the states of Maharashtra and Haryana would be held, in a single phase, on October 21. Counting is scheduled to take place on October 24. This would mean the results of the polls would be known before Diwali, which falls on October 27. It remains to be seen if the BJP would retain power in both the states.
Addressing a press conference, the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, flanked by Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra, also said that September 27 will be the date for the issue of notifications. The last date for nominations will be October 4. Scrutiny of nominations will take place on October 5 and last date for withdrawal of the same will be October 7.
Haryana has a strength of 90 seats out of which 17 are reserved for SC candidates and none for ST.
Maharashtra Assembly has 288 seats out of which 29 are reserved for SCs and 25 for STs.
While the term of the Maharashtra assembly ends on November 9, that of the Haryana assembly expires on November 2.
The poll panel further said that the bypolls in West Bengal will not take place on account of Durga Puja.
The ruling BJP and its ally Shiv Sena have already begun their campaign in Maharashtra though there isn’t any clarity on the number of seats both the parties would contest. In the case of the Congress-NCP combine, both the parties have decided to contest 125 seats each.
In the case of Haryana, the INLD is in shambles on account of the family feud. The Congress too appears divided.
In this scenario, it remains to be seen if the BJP retains power in both the states.