With poll dates to be out in mid-April, parties may rejig campaign plans

The three major political parties – the Congress, the BJP and the JD(S) – will have to rejig their campaign plans, with the Election Commission of India (ECI) now likely to announce Assembly election dates around mid-April. Parties expected polls to be announced earlier.

According to Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat, poll dates will be announced around April 15. “School board examinations are likely to be over by March-end and other exams around April 14,” Rawat told NDTV on Monday.

Usually, the Election Commission conducts polls in maximum 45 days and minimum 21 days from the announcement of the election dates.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) working president Dinesh Gundu Rao pointed out that the 2013 polls were held on May 8.

“Does this mean polls could be held near the end of May this time? Still, 15 days here and there wont make a difference.We can always change our campaign plans accordingly,” he said.

BJP general secretary C T Ravi, however, raised a flag. This could give the Congress government that much more time to “misuse government machinery and treasury,” he said.

“The ECI is an independent body and wed not like to interfere with its work. But it has to monitor the State government,” he said. Announcement of polls in mid-April will not affect the BJP, he said. “Ours is a cadre-based unit. We dont prepare only for elections. Were always prepared.”

It is the regional JD(S) that will be hit the most as it has already announced 126 candidates who will contest the upcoming polls – the first party to do so.

“This does upset our plans, but we have no objection. We are willing to make a compromise in the interest of students, who will have to face exams,” JD(S) spokesperson and MLC Ramesh Babu said. He reiterated the partys stand that polls have to be held in multiple phases (spread over a couple of days).

The three major political parties – the Congress, the BJP and the JD(S) – will have to rejig their campaign plans, with the Election Commission of India (ECI) now likely to announce Assembly election dates around mid-April. Parties expected polls to be announced earlier.

According to Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat, poll dates will be announced around April 15. “School board examinations are likely to be over by March-end and other exams around April 14,” Rawat told NDTV on Monday.

Usually, the Election Commission conducts polls in maximum 45 days and minimum 21 days from the announcement of the election dates.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) working president Dinesh Gundu Rao pointed out that the 2013 polls were held on May 8.

“Does this mean polls could be held near the end of May this time? Still, 15 days here and there won’t make a difference.We can always change our campaign plans accordingly,” he said.

BJP general secretary C T Ravi, however, raised a flag. This could give the Congress government that much more time to “misuse government machinery and treasury,” he said.

“The ECI is an independent body and we’d not like to interfere with its work. But it has to monitor the State government,” he said. Announcement of polls in mid-April will not affect the BJP, he said. “Ours is a cadre-based unit. We don’t prepare only for elections. We’re always prepared.”

It is the regional JD(S) that will be hit the most as it has already announced 126 candidates who will contest the upcoming polls – the first party to do so.

“This does upset our plans, but we have no objection. We are willing to make a compromise in the interest of students, who will have to face exams,” JD(S) spokesperson and MLC Ramesh Babu said. He reiterated the party’s stand that polls have to be held in multiple phases (spread over a couple of days).

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