EC to decide on Telangana polls today

EC to decide on Telangana polls today

Courtesy : Agencies07/09/2018 21:30

See whether the elections can be held simultaneously with four other poll-bound states  

The Election Commission (EC) will meet on Friday to take a call on whether the polls in Telangana can be clubbed with the upcoming elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram.

The Telangana Assembly was dissolved by Governor ESL Narasimhan on Thursday following the recommendation of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao-led state cabinet.

“The commission has the necessary infrastructure to club the Telangana elections with those of the other states,” said an official privy to the development. “But it will need to verify whether the electoral rolls in the state are updated,” the official added.

According to another official, who wished not to be named, “The EC will take a decision on scheduling the Telangana elections after getting a detailed report from the state’s chief electoral officer on various aspects of poll preparedness.”

Asked whether the poll panel had the wherewithal -- electronic voting machines, voter verifiable paper audit trail machines, security personnel -- to hold simultaneous elections in five states, the first official said, “The commission has the necessary infrastructure to be able to hold elections in all five states, but that decision will be taken once all other aspects are examined.”

The most important aspect is the preparation of electoral rolls. Since most states have until January 2019 to submit updated rolls, the EC will have to review the status of voter registration in Telangana.

“The chief electoral officer’s report covers all aspects that have to be taken into consideration for elections -- from holidays in the state to examination schedules, since polling stations are located mostly on school and college premises. They also take into account the weather conditions before announcing the schedule,” said the second official.

As per rules, the EC has six months to complete the poll process in a state, starting from the date of dissolution of the assembly.

“The commission will have to keep two things in mind -- one, the six-month period, and the other is proximity. If a situation arises where elections for a new assembly have to be held between two other scheduled polls, the gap between them should be such that the outcome of one election does not impact the results of the other,” the official pointed.

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