State-level elections in Telangana may not be possible before next year, the Congress indicated today soon after Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao got the assembly dissolved and announced the names of 100 candidates.
At a press conference this evening, the Congress said the Election Commission has asked for a full revision of electoral rolls for which the deadline is January 1 next year. The list -- a routine and critical exercise before elections -- is meant to include new young voters in the electoral rolls.
Unless this exercise is completed, elections cannot be held in the state, the party indicated. This would put the Election Commission in a tricky situation, as it would have little more than a month to hold elections in the state.
Under the rules, elections must be held in a state within six months of the assembly being dissolved. There is no precedent of elections being held while electoral roll revision has been announced and is in progress.
Governor ESL Narasimhan has already accepted the recommendation from Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and is expected to formally notify the Election Commission and recommend holding of elections within six months.
The Chief Minister has been keen on holding the election by the end of this year. The BJP claimed it was because he thought his chances were better before the state got caught up in the campaign fever of the general elections next year.
The term of the Telangana assembly ends next June and the state would have gone to polls next year, in the middle of the general elections.
The state Congress, which has accused the Chief Minister of being a stooge of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said earlier this week that he might have dropped his plans to go for early assembly elections in the state after the idea was vetoed by the PM and the Election Commission.