Source – moneycontrol.com
The Election Commission of India, on November 1, announced the polling schedule for Assembly elections in Jharkhand.
With the announcement, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) came into effect in the state.
Tenure of the current Jharkhand Legislative Assembly will end on January 5, 2020.
The election for all 81 Assembly seats will happen in five phases spanning over 20 days.
Important dates to watch out for in Jharkhand, by phases:
Phase 1> Issue of notification: November 6
> Last date of nomination: November 13
> Scrutiny of nominations: November 14
> Last date of withdrawal of candidature: November 16
> Voting: November 30
Phase 2> Issue of notification: November 11
> Last date of nomination: November 18
> Scrutiny of nominations: November 19
> Last date of withdrawal of candidature: November 21
> Voting: December 7
Phase 3> Issue of notification: November 16
> Last date of nomination: November 25
> Scrutiny of nominations: November 26
> Last date of withdrawal of candidature: November 28
> Voting: December 12
Phase 4> Issue of notification: November 22
> Last date of nomination: November 29
> Scrutiny of nominations: November 30
> Last date of withdrawal of candidature: December 2
> Voting: December 16
Phase 5> Issue of notification: November 26
> Last date of nomination: December 3
> Scrutiny of nominations: December 4
> Last date of withdrawal of candidature: December 6
> Voting: December 20
Counting of votes for all phases will happen together on December 23.
While, 28 seats have been reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs), nine have been reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs)
Voters and polling
According to data released by EC, Jharkhand has a total of 2.26 crore eligible voters. Out of these, 41,336 are service voters.
The number of polling stations that will be used by voters across the state is 29,464. This number is 19 percent higher than in 2014.
To encourage greater constructive participation of women in the electoral process, EC has directed that at least one polling station will be managed exclusively by women in every Assembly constituency. In such stations, all election staff, including security personnel, will be women.
EC has confirmed that Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) will be used in this election.
Lowdown on the political situation
Chief Minister Raghubar Das-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is hoping to retain power in the state. BJP is widely expected to contest the election in an alliance with the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).
The BJP-AJSU alliance is being challenged by Opposition parties such as former chief ministers Shibu Soren and Hemant Soren’s Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Indian National Congress and the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) (JVM-P). The three parties had contested the 2019 Lok Sabha election in an alliance and are expected to fight in this formation again, with the possibility of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) joining hands.
BJP’s ally in Bihar, the Janata Dal (United), has said that it will contest all 81 seats alone.No alliance has declared their seat-sharing formula so far.
After witnessing below-expectation Assembly election results in Haryana and Maharashtra in October, the BJP is recalibrating its strategy. Many factors that came into play in Haryana and Maharashtra could may play a key role in Jharkhand too.