NEW DELHI: The Election Commission announced single-phase elections in Maharashtra and Haryana on October 21 and the results will be made out three days later.
This would be the first elections after Modi government's big policy decisions including banning triple talaq and removing special status from Jammu and Kashmir and dividing it into two Union Territories.
As per reports, the last date for filing nominations is October 4 and the deadline for withdrawing them is October 7. The term of the Haryana assembly will end on November 2, and Maharashtra's on November 9.
"I request the cooperation of all stakeholders in this democratic exercise," said the Chief Election Commissioner.
He added that two special expenditure observers, both retired Indian Revenue Service officers, will be sent to Maharashtra to check election spending by candidates.
Two days before, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised that his government at the Centre would bring back the lost sheen of Kashmir by making it a paradise again. He termed the scrapping of the special status of Kashmir was one of the key decisions of his government’s second term.
India has assured the UN Human Rights Council that the administration is ensuring basic services, essential supplies, normal functioning of institutions, mobility, and nearly full connectivity despite the "challenging circumstances".
In the 2014 elections, the BJP won 47, the Congress took 15 and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) took 19 in Haryana's 90-seat assembly. In Maharashtra, the ruling BJP won 122 seats along with its ally Shiv Sena.
In Maharashtra, the alliance between the BJP and the Shiv Sena has not been finalised yet. According to sources, BJP wants to fight a larger share of the 288 seats in the assembly while the Sena wants it to stick to the earlier agreed formula that both will contest an equal number of constituencies.
Modi will speak at a rally in Nashik on coming Thursday. The public meeting will mark the conclusion of the Mahajanadesh Yatra undertaken by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who will also accompany Modi.