Jharkhand polls may be delayed due to security deployment constraints
Election Commission is finding it tough to arrange paramilitary forces in the festival season
The Election Commission of India (ECI) may declare the schedule only for the Maharashtra and Haryana elections for now and delay the poll announcement for the state of Jharkhand by two months due to constraints involving the availability of security forces.
“The feedback given to the ECI after a high level meeting is that the paramilitary forces may not be available in the required number for the three states. Apart from that there was also a request to wind up the polls in at least two states before the festival of Deepavali,” a senior source from the security establishment told Asiaville.
On the basis of the high-level meeting, the ECI may go ahead with polling in Maharashtra and Haryana before the Deepavali festival. In 2014 too, the elections in Maharashtra and Haryana had taken place in the month of October.
Sources in ECI also confirm that the dates for polls in Jharkhand, the third state where elections are due, are unlikely to be announced along with the two states and the assembly polls in the Naxal-infested eastern state could be pushed to December. The tenure of the Jharkhand assembly ends in January.
The last elections in Maharashtra in 2014 was a major setback to the Congress with its Congress-NCP alliance losing the state soon after the Lok Sabha poll debacle. Congress CM Prithviraj Chavan failed to make a comeback and the BJP and Shiv Sena, which contested the polls without a pre-poll alliance came together to stitch a front to rule the state. The BJP came out as a major force by winning 122 seats in the 288 member assembly. It was a substantial jump for the BJP which had won a meagre 46 seats in 2009. The Congress in 2014 won only 42 seats, 40 seats less than its 2019 tally.
In Haryana, the BJP repeated the Maharashtra feat and increased its tally from 4 seats to 47. The ruling Congress was reduced to just 15 seats and the regional party INLD led by Om Prakash Chautala won 19 seats. The two-term Bhupinder Singh Hooda government succumbed to a strong anti-incumbency feeling in the state.