A day after the Telangana Assembly was dissolved by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, the Election Commission will meet today to discuss the issue of holding assembly polls in the state, months ahead of the scheduled expiration of the House.
The Assembly polls in Telangana were earlier scheduled to be held concurrently with the general elections, but CM KCR on Thursday dissolved the legislative assembly and called for early elections.
A senior EC official said that the officials meet every Tuesday and Friday to discuss a variety of issues and the issue of holding elections in Telangana may come up for a discussing when the officials meet on Friday, news agency PTI reported.
According to him, issues like festivals, examinations and weather conditions will be discussed before arriving at a final conclusion.
The term of the Telangana assembly was till June 2019 but on Thursday, TRS chief and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao headed Cabinet adopted a resolution recommending the dissolution of the assembly.
Meanwhile, news agency ANI citing sources reported that the Election Commission may not hold elections in the southern state along with elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram. The terms of Assemblies in these four states are due to end between December 15 this year and January 20, 2019. The dates are likely to be announced by the poll body in October-end or early November.
The tweet from ANI comes in the backdrop of reports suggesting that the EC may opt to hold elections in Telangana along with the four states.
“We will assess if Telangana elections can be held with other four states. Any astrological predictions (over dates) made by anyone is notwithstanding,” Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said.
“At first, Election Commission will take stock of preparation from CEO (Telangana Chief Electoral Officer) & after that it will be decided when to hold the elections. Then an official audit will take place. The Commission will visit after that,” he added.
If the elections in Telangana are held with these four states, the Election Commission will have to redraw the preparation chart including on the use of poll machinery to ensure arrangements are over by the time dates are announced.
Thursday afternoon, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced a list of 105 candidates of the TRS who will contest the next elections on a party ticket.
KCR announcing his list even before an election notification had been issued took opposition and observers by surprise. Political parties, as seen in the past, usually play a hide and seek game in declaring candidates and most of the times, the announcement is made at the last minute. But KCR was aggressive and sent out a signal that he is confident of a return of office, post polls.
Telangana caretaker chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Thursday called Congress president the "biggest buffoon" of the country. KCR while addressing a press conference said the whole country has seen how he went and hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament and then winked.
KCR had said that he would announce candidates after the September 2 public meeting of the party, but announcing candidates for 105 of 119 seats in one go came like a thunderbolt.
Practically all sitting legislators have been renominated putting to end speculation about how many he would drop. Two TRS sitting legislators N Odelu of Chennur and Babu Mohan of Andhole were dropped. KCR said he had a word with them and their services would be utilised in other capacities.
The TRS president has kept on hold announcement for five seats. Out of the total 90 seats the party has, including those who crossed over from the Congress and TDP, KCR announced candidates for 83 sitting legislators. KCR himself will contest from his Gajwel assembly constituency which he represents now. His son, IT and MA&UD minister K T Rama Rao (KTR) will contest from Sircilla and nephew T Harish Rao will contest from Siddipet.
Meanwhile, the CM has invited a severe flak from the opposition for his decision to dissolve the assembly. Opposition parties accused him of indulging in ‘obfuscation politics’ and alleged that the decision to call early elections is prompted by fears that he will not return to the power if polls were held in 2019.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee leader Sravan Dasoju asked the CM to explain to the people as to what necessitated him to cut short the Assembly tenure. “The state was formed after so much of struggle and sacrifices and people had so many hopes on development, farm issues and employment generation but those promises have not been fulfilled.”
The BJP too echoed similar charge, saying KCR has ‘full-scale fear that he might not be able to come back to power if elections are held as per schedule’.