Brace yourself for political fireworks

Updated: Sep 22, 2019, 07:40 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

State headed for polls in October; who will celebrate Diwali the most?

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray at the inauguration of the Atal Smruti Udyan at Shimpoli, Borivali, in July
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray at the inauguration of the Atal Smruti Udyan at Shimpoli, Borivali, in July

Political parties and the election machinery have a month's time to put the new Maharashtra government in power. The Election Commission of India announced on Saturday that polling will be held in the state on October 21 and counting on October 24, a day before the Diwali festivities start.

With the announcement, a model code of conduct came into force on Saturday. This also means that no political decisions will be allowed to be taken by the government and a series of guidelines will have to be followed by the parties and candidates. About nine crore voters have been enrolled in Maharashtra where low polling percentage has been a worry. The recent elections showed some rise in rural Maharashtra, but the urban region remained short of expectations.

CEC Sunil Arora made a declaration in New Delhi on Saturday afternoon, which also included Haryana (90 seats) Assembly polls to be conducted along with Maharashtra's 288 seats. The programme for the Satara Lok Sabha bypoll wasn't announced.

Since the Maharashtra lower house cannot work beyond November 9 this year, it is legally mandatory that due process of installing a new house is completed before the incumbent's termination. The poll commission chose to not clash elections with Diwali dates. The winners would celebrate the festival much before it begins.

The alliances between BJP, Shiv Sena and their associates, and Congress and NCP, along with a third front Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi and other parties like AIMIM, Samajwadi, BSP, several factions of RPI and independents would be seen in action.

The saffron alliance hasn't been announced yet. Insiders say the declaration could happen after deliberations between BJP chief Amit Shah, CM Devendra Fadnavis and Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, to be held on Sunday. Fadnavis was expected to visit Thackeray's residence on Saturday night for talks with the Sena chief ahead of Shah's arrival today.

Mark your poll calendar

September 27
Issue of notification

October 4
Last date of filing nomination

October 5
Scrutiny of nominations

October 7
Last date of withdrawal of candidature

October 21
Polling across the state

October 21

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