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Election Commission sounds poll bugle for five states

PNS | Hyderabad

The Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the poll schedule for Telangana and the states of Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan on Monday. The voting in Telangana will take place on November 30. In Mizoram, the voting will be on November 7, while Madhya Pradesh will go to the polls on November 17. Rajasthan will vote on November 23 and Chhattisgarh will vote in two phases on November 7 and 17.

Counting in all the five states will take place on December 3. Approximately 3.71 crore people will vote in Telangana. Compared to previous Assembly elections the Election Commission has advanced the Telangana Assembly elections by a week.

In 2018, the Telangana Assembly election was held on December 7 while the election notification was issued in 2018 on November 11. In 2018, the counting of votes was held on the fourth day of polling and now counting will take place on the third day after polling.
In 2018, the polling was held on December 7 and counting of votes was held on December 11. Now the polling will be held on November 30 and counting will take place on December 3. The tenure of the present Assembly will end on January 16, 2024. The results will be declared 44 days before the end of the current Assembly’s tenure.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Vikas Raj said on Monday that the Election Model Code will come into effect immediately after the publishing of the Election schedule by the Election Commission of India.

The state administration will now go into the hands of the Election Commission. The code of conduct ends the official programmes and official visits of ministers and the Chief Minister. According to the code of conduct, from now onwards ministers cannot combine their official visit with electioneering and shall also not make use of official machinery or personnel during electioneering.

Government transport including official aircraft, vehicles, official machinery and personnel shall not be used to further the interests of the party in power. The government cannot announce any new schemes and grants.

It appears that the BRS government was well aware of the election schedule as just 24 hours before the announcement of the election schedule the government announced the Employees Health Care Trust for government employees and pensioners.
As per this scheme, the government will provide cashless, high-quality medical treatment to its employees, pensioners and their families.

The BRS can announce new schemes in its election manifesto but not the government. The Election Commission will monitor every activity of the government and ministers. The code of conduct has limited the freedom of the government to announce new schemes or take new policy decisions. Now onwards the government will be just a caretaker.

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