EC today to announce election dates for Telangana

The Election Commission (EC) is set to announce Saturday the poll schedules for Madhya Pradesh,Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram, the elections that are expected to set the tone for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.Except Mizoram, which is ruled by the Congress, all the other states are ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The model code of conduct, a set of guidelines laid down by the election commission to govern the conduct of political parties and candidates in the run-up to an election, will kick in with the announcement.Poll dates for Telangana assembly, which was dissolved by chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in September, may also be announced today. The Congress and the TDP have already announced a tie-up in the state

Parties have already started talks for poll alliances and for finalising candidates. BSP chief Mayawati recently announced her decision to align with Congress rebel Ajit Jogi’s Janta Congress in Chhattisgarh, setting the stage for a triangular contest in the state after her talks with the Congress on seat-sharing appeared to have collapsed.

Mayawati also named 22 candidates for neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, where too her party has been in talks with the Congress, but they have been unable to agree on seat sharing.

Top political leaders have been criss-crossing the poll-bound states addressing rallies and holding party meetings. Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a rally in Bikaner and Congress president Rahul Gandhi is in Rajasthan on October 9 and 10.