Himachal polls on Nov 9, Gujarat dates later: EC
Himachal Pradesh will go to polls on November 9, the Election Commission of India announced on Thursday. Results will be declared on December 18.
Chief election commissioner AK Joti said the polls in Gujarat will be held before December 18, so that results of Himachal Pradesh have no impact on them. Dates of elections in Gujarat will be declared later.
If the last round of assembly elections in five states, especially in Uttar Pradesh, was projected by the BJP as a vindication of the NDA government’s demonetisation gambit, the elections for the 68-member Himachal assembly could become a test of public support for its economic policies, especially the goods and services tax (GST) that triggered protests by traders in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has given clear indications of the party’s poll plank,
attacking the NDA government for the economic slowdown, lack of employment opportunities, hasty rollout of the GST and the plight of farmers, labourers and small traders and businessmen.
The BJP has put up a brave front citing how the Indian economy is the fastest-growing in the world and obliquely hinted at its return to old themes by addressing Gandhi as “shehzada” and referring to “Italian glasses”.
The next round of elections could have implications for the NDA government’s economic model, too.
While the BJP’s victories in these elections could embolden the Centre to stick to its fiscal consolidation path and go for some bold reforms, especially in the labour sector, an adverse poll outcome could put pressure on the government to opt for populism.
CEC AK Joti, flanked by Sunil Arora and OP Rawat (L) announces the Himachal elections schedule in New Delhi on Thursday.