5 Kerala assembly bypolls on Oct 21, Maharashtra, Haryana to cast ballot same day

EC to announce poll dates for Maharashtra and Haryana today
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New Delhi: The Election Commission announced that the assembly polls in Maharashtra and Haryana will be held on October 21. The counting of votes is set to take place on October 24, Chief Election Commissioner of India Sunil Arora announced on Saturday.

Bypolls to 64 Assembly seats in 17 states and one Union Territory will be held on October 21 and the results will be declared on October 24, the Election Commission said on Saturday. The five constituencies to vote in the Kerala byelections are Vattiyurkaavu, Konni, Aroor, Ernakulam and Manjeshwaram.

Vattiyoorkavu, Aroor, Ernakulam and Konni seats had become vacant as the MLAs representing them resigned after they won the Lok Sabha elections in late May. 

The Manjeswaram assembly seat fell vacant as PB Abdul Razak, the IUML MLA who represented it, died last October. With the announcement of the election schedule, a model code of conduct has come into effect in these constituencies.

Three Congress MLAs who represented Vattiyoorkavu, Ernakulam and Konni assembly constituencies are K Muraleedharan, Hibi Eden and Adoor Prakash respectively. Muraleedharan is now the Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Vadakara Lok Sabha constituency.

Hibi and Adoor Prakash are MPs of Ernakulam and Attingal Lok Sabha seats respectively. A.M. Ariff of CPM had won from Aroor in the 2016 assembly elections.  Ariff currently represents the Alappuzha Lok Sabha constituency.

Besides Kerala the poll panel announced the schedule for Assembly byelections to 15 seats in Karnataka, 11 seats in Uttar Pradesh, five seats in Bihar, four seats each in Gujarat, Assam and Punjab, three seats in Sikkim, two seats each in Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan and one seat each in Arunachal Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Odisha and Puducherry.

The issue of notification for the election will come on September 27 and the last day for submitting the nomination is October 4.

While the term of 288-member Maharashtra assembly ends on November 9, that of the 90-member Haryana assembly expires on November 2.

Maharashtra is currently ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. Th BJP and Shiva Sena had won 122 and 63 seats respectively, out of 288 seats in the 2014 elections. Though the Shiva Sena and BJP contested the 2014 elections separetely as they failed to arrive at a consensus on the seat sharing ratio, the Shiva Sena joined the BJP ministry after the elections.

This year the two allies will be contesting the elections together. The seat share for the respective parties is yet to be announced.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed a rally in Mahrashtra last week as part of the pre-election campaign by the ruling party.

The BJP who won 47 seats out of the 90 seats in the Harayana Assembly Elections held in 2014, is all set to secure a second term in the state.

While Maharashtra has 8.94 crore voters, Haryana has 1.82 crore voters, poll panel chief Sunil Arora said. Th EC also appealed for the use of eco-friendly materials for the elections.

This is the first state level elections after the Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance government came to power the second time at the centre.

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