CEC rules out changes in Assembly poll dates

Chief Election Commission SY Quraishi on Sunday ruled out any change in the schedule announced for assembly elections in five states.

Last Updated: Dec 25, 2011, 21:16 PM IST

New Delhi: Chief Election Commission SY
Quraishi on Sunday ruled out any change in the schedule announced
for assembly elections in five states, saying a number of
factors have been taken into account before finalising it.

"There is no question of rescheduling of dates already
announced. We have taken everything into consideration," he
told agency a day after the schedule for five states was
announced.

He was replying to a question about the possibility of a
change in view of reservations expressed by Uttarakhand Chief
Minister B C Khanduri about rains and snow in January in the
hill state that could hamper polling.
Though the BSP has not officially reacted, the ruling
party in Uttar Pradesh is understood to be having reservations
over early poll in February, since the term of the state
assembly expires only on May 20 next year.

Quraishi admitted that there is speculation about
reservation about dates in Uttar Pradesh.

"Definitely, it is speculation. They (the government or
the ruling party) have not said anything at all. Probably,
they are sensible and they understand," he said.

While the term of the assemblies in Uttarakhand, Punjab
and Manipur expires on March 12, 14 and 15 respectively, in
the case of Goa it ends on June 14.

Quraishi said anybody who has done a little bit of
homework will understand that the Commission clubs elections
in different states which are due around the same time.

"It is the earliest due date that were schedule. The
earliest in this case is March 12, 14, 15 which becomes the
d-day for all five states. We have to finish the elections by
March. There is no mystery or rocket science. It is very
obvious. Any speculation is uncalled for," he said.

On Uttarakhand Chief Minister`s reservations, he said,
there was no guarantee that there will be no rain or snow in
February.
"We do not touch March because of examinations. In fact,
there is more snow in second half of February than in the
first half."

The CEC said in case there is a calamity or a broblem in
any particular case, then the polls can always be rescheduled.
"Now we have more elbow room. We can have the option of
altering within one month and we can choose any poll dates for
specific polling stations," he said.

Yesterday, the Commission surprised political calculations
in the ruling establishment in Uttar Pradesh where the
government was reportedly planning to advance the examinations
to prevent an early poll.

The ruling party there was said to be keen on elections
being held in April.

PTI