The Election Commission of India (ECI) is expected to announce the polling dates for the upcoming assembly elections in five states of the country at a press conference in Delhi on Monday.
Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram are set to go into polls towards the end of this year.
The election dates are usually announced by the polling body around six to eight weeks before the expiry of the term of the legislative assembly. The terms are set to expire between December 2023 and January 2024.
The ECI had organised a briefing for general, police and expenditure observers last week for the upcoming elections in the five states. During the meeting, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) had directed observers to ensure a level-playing field by working in coordination so that free, fair and inducement-free elections take place.
Currently, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in power in Madhya Pradesh led by Shivraj Singh Chouhan, while Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are led by Congress’ Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel respectively.
On the other hand, in Telangana, the Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) government is led by K Chandrasekhar Rao, while Mizo National Front (MNF), an ally of the BJP is in power in Mizoram.
The Mizoram legislative assembly term comes to an end on December 17. The ruling MNF has 27 members in the 40-strong legislative assembly. The main opposition party Zoram People’s Movement has six members, while the Congress has five and BJP has one.
Furthermore, the BJP has declared 79 candidates for Madhya Pradesh polls including Union ministers like Narendra Tomar, Prahlad Patel, and party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.
The trio of top leaders of the party is being seen as the possible contenders for the post of chief minister. Other notable candidates fielded by BJP include MPs Ganesh Mantri, Rakesh Singh and Reeti Pathak.