EC may not hold Guj, HP counting together
New Delhi: The Election Commission may not hold counting for Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat simultaneously on December 18, according to a senior EC functionary.
“Results for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly polls need not and may not be declared the same day. The idea is to only finish polling in Gujarat before December 18 so that Himachal results do not affect the way Gujarat votes. This means polling in Gujarat can be held right until December 17.
“Given that there must be a 46-day gap between announcement of poll and actual polling, the announcement of Gujarat assembly poll dates can wait till November 2,” the poll panel functionary told TOI.
According to the functionary, who did not want to be identified, the Commission had, during its two-day visit to Gujarat on October 9 and 10 to assess poll preparedness, received feedback that flood relief and rehabilitation works in the affected parts of the state were at a crucial stage. “We were of the view that starting the poll process at this juncture would slow down relief and rehabilitation as the authorities would then be focused on elections. Since there is no urgency to declare the Gujarat elections as polling needs to be completed only by December 18, we technically have time till November 2 to make the announcement. The EC feels a lot of ground will be covered until then to rehabilitate the flood-affected people,” he said, explaining the rationale behind announcing schedule for Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat polls separately.