Election Commission announces dates for assembly polls in Jharkhand, denies allegations of pressure from central government


The Election Commission on Friday announced that assembly elections in Jharkhand for the 81 seats will be held in five phases. Addressing a news conference in Delhi, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said that the counting will take place on 23 December adding that the poll panel was aware of Christmas celebrated by the state’s Christian community on 25 December.


According to Arora, the first phase of polls will cover 13 assembly seats and polling will take place on 30 November. The second phase will cover 20 assembly constituencies with voting scheduled for 7 December. The third phase of polling covering 17 seats will take place on 12 December. Phase four of voting for 15 assembly constituencies will take place on 16 December. The last phase of polling will cover 16 seats with the voting scheduled for 20 December.

The counting for all 81 seats will take place on 23 December.

In 2014, the BJP had won 37 seats and formed the government under Chief Minister Raghubar Das. The BJP’s ally, the AJSU, had won 17, taking the NDA past the majority mark.

Arora said that this was not the first time that polls in Jharkhand were being held in five phases adding that the state had gone to polls in the same number of phases even five years ago.

Arora denied allegations that the Election Commission had deliberately decided to not hold polls in Jharkhand along with Haryana and Maharashtra last month. He said that there was no truth in the allegations that the EC was working under duress from the central government.


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