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Multiple factors led EC to hold Himachal polls earlier: CEC A K Joti

The CEC averred that the state had to undergo restoration before elections could be organised

ANI  |  New Delhi 

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Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Joti

Chief Commissioner Achal Kumar on Monday said multiple factors, including the weather, had come into play when deciding why to hold elections in earlier than

In an exclusive interview to ANI, said political parties and the state administration in had requested the commission to organise the polls before mid-November as there was a probability of snowfall in three districts of the hill state.

"When we went to Himachal Pradesh, the state commission there, political parties and the state administration had requested that on account of the likelihood of snowfall, three districts - Kinnaur, Lahaul Spiti and Chamba - are likely to experience snowfall. Therefore, a request made to conduct the elections in early November so that voters do not get affected and can cast their votes," said

The further asserted that the commission would plan the poll schedule in in such a way "the outcome of the result should not affect the voting in "

"Another main reason is that Himachal and are not adjoining states. If multiple states go for polls, they are adjoining states. The EC has always made sure that the voting pattern of one state does not affect the voting pattern of another state, and that is why the counting period in has been kept on 18th December 2017. We had stated that we would plan the schedule in in such a way that polling in is over prior to Himachal result so that the outcome of the result should not affect the voting in Gujarat," told ANI.

The CEC, citing an office memorandum issued by Ministry of Law and Justice in 2001 and approved by the Supreme Court, said, "The commission shall announce the date of any which shall be a date ordinarily not more than three weeks prior to the date on which the notification is likely to be issued in wake of elections. The day we make the announcement, the is applied from that day till the poll is over. So, if the states share the border, it should have been an issue, but with Gujarat, the situation is very different."

Further referring to the floods, which claimed hundreds of lives and caused huge damage to infrastructure, the averred that the state had to undergo restoration before elections could be organised.

also underlined the fact that the government staff which would carry out the restoration work is the same lot which would carry out services during the elections. And that once the announcement for the polls is made the government employees will have to leave the restoration work and perform election-related duties.

In July, parts of were ravaged by incessant rains and floods that claimed more than 200 lives.

"And at a time when restoration work is done, it involves a lot of government force. A total of 26443 employees of the state government will be given duties. So the staff, which manages the restoration work will only be assigned the duties as we don't supply staff," he said.

"So, once the moral code of conduct is implemented these government employees will have to leave all the revamping and start performing their duties in connection with elections," he added.

First Published: Mon, October 23 2017. 15:38 IST
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