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Election Commission announces dates for polling in five states: Political leaders, citizens react

Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Mizoram will go to polls on different days from November 7-30 and votes will be counted for the five states on 3 December, the Election Commission said on Monday, setting the stage for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections “semi-finals”. Nearly 16 crore voters would be eligible to cast their […]

Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Mizoram will go to polls on different days from November 7-30 and votes will be counted for the five states on 3 December, the Election Commission said on Monday, setting the stage for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections “semi-finals”.

Nearly 16 crore voters would be eligible to cast their votes in these elections, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar said at a press conference while asserting that strong measures are being put in place to make these polls inducement-free.

While Congress is in power in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh is ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Telangana by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and Mizoram by Mizo National Front (MNF). During the press conference, Rajiv Kumar said these five states will have 1.77 lakh polling stations, of which 1.01 lakh will have webcasting facilities. More than 8,000 polling stations will be managed by women, he said.

According to the data provided by the ECI, There are 60 lakh first-time voters in the elections. The CEC also added that over 2,900 polling stations will be managed by youths.

The ECI has laid special emphasis on ensuring a healthy, pure and inclusive electoral roll, Kumar said, addressing the press conference. He said importance would be given to women voters, young voters, particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs), persons with disabilities, senior citizens and transgenders.

In addition, the Commission has begun tracking the movement and distribution of goods and monetary transactions to ensure inducement-free elections, setting up a network of 940 inter-state checkposts in border areas.
Following the announcement, BJP president JP Nadda welcomed the EC’s announcement and stated that the BJP would form governments in all the states with a “big majority” under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said that the I.N.D.I.A. alliance would win all the five states. “…In three [poll-bound states], Congress had won five years back. This time in all the states, the INDIA alliance will win, whether in Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan. Telangana is a bonus. In Telangana as well, Congress will win. Bharatiya Janata Party will not win even 10 seats in Telangana,” Raut said speaking at a press conference on Monday.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia reacted over the implementation of model code of conduct. “Whatever decision the Election Commission has taken, we will follow that. Voting is the biggest right. I believe that the voters of all the five states will give their blessings to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for development, BJP’s good governance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership and others.”

Meanwhile, when asked about Congress Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Shukla claiming Congress will form government in four out of five states where polls are going to be held, Scindia said there was “no astrology” in politics and [parties] have to accept the public’s verdict. “It is the responsibility of all of us to follow the blessings of the public. I have full confidence that the BJP government will be formed in Madhya Pradesh with full majority,” he added.

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