Shimla, Oct 13: With the announcement of the Assembly poll date (November 9), the model code of conduct has come into force, providing much-needed relief to officials under pressure to comply with the orders of the government.
Racing against time, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was on a stone-laying spree and holding Cabinet meetings at short intervals. He also showered largesse on various sections of society, but with the model code of conduct in place, a full stop has been put on all such heightened pre-poll activities.The Opposition is jubilant that the code has been imposed, while the officials are heaving a sigh of relief as it has come as a tool in their hand to put the government’s hasty decision on hold. The news that the Election Commission will announce the poll schedule today and the code of conduct will come into force immediately, hundreds of persons thronged the Secretariat to get their works done.
Everyone was in a haste and the Chief Minister today inaugurated Medical Sciences University at Nerchowk in Mandi, laid foundation stones of the Rs 22-crore ‘Tandi Sangam Ghat’, Press Club building and projects worth Rs 50 crore in Karsog in Mandi district. All stones were laid online to beat the deadline.“The code of conduct has come into force otherwise three or more Cabinet meetings would have taken place,” said a senior official.
The last Assembly elections were held on November 4 in 2012 and the counting was done on December 20. In 1993 also, the elections were held on November 9 and the counting was done on November 27.The Assembly elections are being held simultaneously in the state for the fifth time and earlier the snow-bound tribal constituencies went to the polls, along with 65 other constituencies, in 1977,1982, 1993, 2007 and 2012.The Congress government took over on December 25 in 2012 and this time too, the new government will be in place by the end of December. At present, the ruling Congress has 35 members in the 68-member house, while the BJP has 28, there are four Independents and one seat is lying vacant after the death of Ayurveda Minister Karan Singh. Initially, the BJP had won 26 seats, but the Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) merged with the BJP and its strength rose to 27.Later, it also won the Sujanpur byelections, raising its tally to 28.
Source Tribune India