Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat on Saturday said that the state of Telangana would go to the polls on December 7. The results for 119 seats in Telanagana assembly will be announced on December 11, four days after the single phase poll.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government in the state had dissolved the Assembly on September 6, paving way for early elections. Speaking to reporters after meeting with officials on Saturday, Rawat said, “Telangana dissolved the state assembly prematurely and as per Supreme Court guidelines, it is incumbent on the EC to hold elections as soon as possible but not later than six months."
In the 2014 elections, the TRS had won 63 seats while the Congress had won 21. The Telugu Desam Party had bagged 15 seats while the AIMIM had won 7.
"All poll going states, electoral rolls were published in September, as elections are scheduled to be held before December 15 and Telangana was also supposed to publish their rolls, but due to court proceedings, it will be published on October 12," he added.
Rawat was referring to the Hyderabad High Court’s order on Friday, which told the Election Commission not to notify the revised list of electoral rolls of Telangana till it heard a case on alleged discrepancies in the list.
Rawat explained that the High Court wanted to see the electoral rolls before it was published.
The CEC also said that the model code of conduct was also officially in place in all five states going to polls in the next three months.
He added that Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will be deployed to ensure that voting takes place without any untoward incidents in sensitive areas.
“We appeal to the common man to photograph or videograph any violation of the poll code like money distribution or liquor distribution and upload it to our website. We will take strict action. It is also possible to file a complaint anonymously, in case you are taking on a powerful person,” Rawat said.
Rawat held a meeting with chief electoral officers of all five poll-bound states in Delhi on Friday as well. The CEOs of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram were present besides Rajat Kumar from Telangana.
Last week, the EC also barred the TRS government in Telangana from distributing free sarees among poor women on the occasion of Bathukamma festival. The poll panel communicated to the state's Chief Electoral Officer that the state government is not permitted to distribute the sarees on the occasion of the festival from October 12.
The poll panel's directive came as a setback to the TRS, which was keen on the annual programme in the run-up to the ensuing elections. The opposition parties had urged the Election Commission not to allow the programme.