The Election Commission on Friday announced election dates for Himachal Pradesh however the dates for Gujarat were not announced. The ECI in a press briefing said that the elections in HP will be held in a single phase on Nov 12 and votes will be counted on Dec 8.
No announcement of Gujarat election today comes as a surprise because the terms of both the assemblies end within the range of six months. In such cases, all state elections are announced together, and the results are declared on a common date.
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, fielding questions, said no rules had been violated.
The term of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly will expire on Jan 8, while that of the Gujarat Assembly will end on Feb 18.
Kumar during the briefing explained that the gap in the expiration date of the two state assemblies was one of the major factors behind the decision to not club Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat polls in the same schedule. Apart from that, weather was also a prominent factor considering Himachal Pradesh has harsh winters and snow in large parts of the state.
The poll panel is expected to announce the election schedule for Gujarat in a few weeks.
With the announcement of the poll schedule, the Model Code of Conduct for guidance of political parties and candidates has come into force.
The 14th Gujarat Legislative Assembly election was held on December 9 and 14 in 2017 to elect the Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). The votes were counted on 18 December.
The incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) obtained a simple majority with an increase in the vote share in the last election. Despite a decrease in the number of seats, the BJP retained its simple majority in the house and formed government for the sixth time.
In the results declared for all the 182-seated Gujarat Assembly, BJP won 99 seats, Congress wins 77, 1 seat was won by NCP while Bhartiya Tribal Party and Independent candidate won 2 and 3 seats respectively.
In Gujarat, AAP could not open its account in the previous Assembly elections. After a massive victory in Punjab, the party is looking to spread its wings to other parts of the country.