Chief Election Commissioner to review poll preparedness in Himachal Pradesh

Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami
Shimla, Oct 16 : Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N Gopalaswami, along with the other two Election Commissioners, will arrive here today to review poll preparedness for the forthcoming Assembly elections.

They are likely to discuss issues pertaining to the two-phase elections in the state, scheduled for November 14 and December 19, with all political parties.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and some of his Cabinet Ministers are also likely to meet Gopalswami.

According to reports, a team led by Singh will urge the Election Commission (EC) to change polling dates keeping in view the snow season of December.

Singh on Monday met Goplaswami in New Delhi and urged him to reschedule the dates. He told Goplaswami that the present schedule was in the "midst of heavy winter", and should be postponed.

The Congress leaders told the Commission that the tenure of the current assembly will expire in March 2008, but as per the new schedule a new assembly will be formed after December 28 when the votes will be counted resulting in existence of two assemblies, present and the next one, simultaneously.

However, the opposition BJP has opposed any move to reschedule the poll dates.

The party urged the EC to "strictly adhere to the election schedule as announced" on October 10.

The party also urged the EC to "strictly adhere to the election schedule as announced" on October 10. The party also requested the EC to ensure that the model code of conduct is enforced in the state properly.

State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Jai Ram Thakur and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) state convenor Vijay Singh Mankotia are also likely to meet the EC team.

The Electoral process for the 68-member State Assembly would begin from October 20, and counting will take place on December 28, he added.

The term of the current State Assembly is till March 9, 2008. (ANI)

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