New Delhi: The Election Commission of India is expected to announce poll dates for Maharashtra and Haryana at 12 noon on Saturday. As soon the dates are announced, the Model Code of Conduct will come into force with immediate effect which will remain imposed till the conclusion of the poll process.
Reports claimed that elections dates for Jharkhand will not be announced along with the two states as the EC feels that the situation to conduct Assembly polls in Jharkhand is completely different from the other two states, i.e Maharashtra and Haryana.
Maharashtra is currently governed by a coalition of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena. In the 2014 Assembly elections, the BJP failed to get majority on its own but emerged as the single-largest party by winning 122 seats of the total 288. Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena came second with 63 seats.
This year, BJP-Sena will contest the polls together. Addressing a press conference yesterday, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had said that there is no doubt in Sena’s coalition with the BJP, and there is no rift between the parties.
“We will use the same formula in the Maharashtra bypolls that Amit Shah, CM Devendra Fadnavis and I had used during the Lok Sabha elections. The seat-sharing will be held in the same way,” Thackeray said, adding that the decision on the seat division will be taken within two days.
Meanwhile, the Indian National Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had announced that they will fight the state Assembly elections together. “Congress and NCP have agreed to contest 125 seats each in the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly Elections. Remaining 38 seats will be given to smaller allies,” NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had annoucned.
In 2014, NCP had ended the 15-year alliance with Congress after the two parties failed to reach a seat-sharing arrangement. Of the total 288 seats, Congress emerged victorious on 42 while the NCP had won 41 seats in 2014.
In Haryana, the BJP had bagged 47 seats of the total 90 in the Assembly polls 2014 and Manohar Lal Khattar became the saffron party’s first-ever Chief Minister in the state. The Congress had bagged only 15 seats.