Assembly polls in 4 states in Sept- Oct
New Delhi: The Congress and the BJP have started preparing to hit the road after the Election Commission indicated that it will conduct Assembly elections in four states — Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir — in late September or early October.
The Commission is also prepared to hold fresh Assembly elections in Delhi if the current House, under suspended animation, is dissolved, an EC offi cial said. These elections will be the fi rst major test of popularity for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi- led BJP government, which secured an absolute majority in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls. For the Congress, the elections will be an opportunity to revitalise demoralised cadre and arrest the slide in its fortunes.
“We have to complete the elections in any case by October 27 when the Haryana Assembly’s term comes to an end. Though the term of the J& K Assembly is till January 19, the elections have to be completed by October before the severe winter sets in, making many areas inaccessible,” an Election Commission offi cial told dna.
The Maharashtra Assembly’s term is till December 7 and that of Jharkhand till January 3. All four Assembly elections will be held together for administrative reasons. For security matters, elections will have to be spread over several phases in Jammu and Kashmir, and hence polling may kick- off in September and go on till the third week of October, the offi cial added.
Last week, Prime Minister Modi held a meeting of the party’s 10 general secretaries at his residence to ensure the BJP’s organisational strength is not weakened in the wake of the massive mandate it received in the 2014 general election. He asked them to prepare for assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, where the party has the opportunity to unseat the ruling Congress and its partners, and also in Jammu and Kashmir, where the BJP can emerge as a lead player.
Congress Vice- President Rahul Gandhi too held a brainstorming session last week with Haryana Congress leaders.