New Delhi: Congress leader and its Jharkhand in-charge RPN Singh on Friday expressed disappointment that the Assembly Elections in the state would be held over five phases and not one, as the party had requested, just after the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the poll schedule in the state.

Speaking to news agency ANI immediately after the polls were announced, the former Union Minister said, “We welcome the elections in the state, but it is unfortunate that elections are to be held in five phases. Congress had asked EC that elections should be held in one phase in Jharkhand.”

Elections will be held on all 81 constituencies in the state across five dates: November 30, December 7, December 12, December 16 and December 20. 13, 20, 17, 15 and 16 constituencies will cast their votes across the five dates respectively. Counting of votes will be done on December 23.

The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) came into effect as soon as the poll schedule was announced.

The Jharkhand Assembly Elections are extremely vital for the Congress after it witnessed severe chaos in its state unit in the wake of the party’s rout in the Lok Sabha Elections earlier this year, in which it could win only one out of the state’s 14 seats. The rout led to the resignation of Jharkhand Congress chief Dr Ajoy Kumar, who later blasted the local Congress leadership, accusing it of keeping personal interests above those of the party. He was replaced by Rameshwar Oraon as the state unit chief.

He switched over to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in September, just months before next year’s Delhi Assembly Elections.

Jharkhand is currently governed by a BJP-All Jharkhand Students’ Union (AJSU) alliance which together won 42 seats in the state polls five years ago, with the former’s Ragubhar Das taking oath as the Chief Minister.

The Congress, meanwhile, contested in an alliance with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), winning 26 seats together of which the Congress, which contested as a junior ally, won. just eight