NEW DELHI: Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat announced the dates for assembly elections to the five states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram, and Telangana on Saturday.
The state Chhattisgarh, affected by the Maoist insurgency, will go to elections in two phases on November 12 and 20. Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram will vote on November 28, Rajasthan and Telangana will be on December 7. The counting day for all states is December 11.
The declaration of the poll schedule by the EC was marred by a controversy as the poll panel delayed the announcement by two and a half hours; however, the EC rejected the allegation and said the announcement was delayed due to some procedural issues.
The opposition Congress alleged that the BJP-led Government at the Centre influenced the EC to delay the announcement to make it sure Prime Minister Narendra Modi could address a rally in Rajasthan before the Model Code of Conduct comes into force.
The Congress is the principal challenger to the ruling BJP in Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Congress is in power in Mizoram, where Mizo National Front is the principal opposition. The BJP is the new entrant in the political scene of Mizoram and Telangana Rashtra Samiti is in power in Telangana.