Tussle between a ‘miffed’ Congress and a ‘happy’ BJP over Himachal poll dates

November 14th, 2007 - 2:17 am ICT by admin  
Singh, who was accompanied by Congress leader R K Dhawan, told Goplaswami that the present schedule (November 14 and December 19) was in the “midst of heavy winter”, and should be postponed.

The Congress leaders told the Commission that the tenure of the current assembly will expire in March 2008, but as per the new schedule a new assembly will be formed after December 28 when the votes will be counted resulting in existence of two assemblies, present and the next one, simultaneously.

“The term of the present Assembly is till March 9th next year. This arises a peculiar situation that there will be two Assemblies at a time. We have brought this out to the notice of the Commission,” Dhawan told reporters after meeting Goplaswami.

Immediately after returning from the US last week, Singh had termed the advancement of the poll dates as ‘ambush’ by the Election Commission, and alleged that the three-member Commission had held no consultations with the State Government on holding the polls.

However, the opposition BJP has opposed any move to reschedule the poll dates.

The party has urged the Election Commission to “strictly adhere to the election schedule as announced” on October 10.

Welcoming the two-phase polls in the State, BJP vice president Mukthar Abbas Naqvi today said, “The schedule, which was decided by the Election Commission for the elections in the States, are perfectly fine, but the Congress wants to change the dates due to the fear of loosing the polls and we oppose any such move to postpone the elections.”

The party has also requested the Commission to ensure that the model code of conduct is enforced in the State properly.

Meanwhile, Goplaswami will be visiting Shimla on Tuesday to review poll preparedness in the State. Two other commissioners, Navin Chawla and S Y Quraishi, will accompany him.

On October 10, Gopalswami announced that the voting for the 68-member State Assembly. (ANI)

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