GUWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that he will urge the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold the Lok Sabha polls in Assam before Rongali Bihu, i.e before April 14, 2024. It comes amidst speculations that the Election Commission has tentatively scheduled April 16 as the election date.
Speaking to the media, the Assam CM told that since the elections in Assam normally ends before Rongali Bihu, he will suggest that the ECI hold Lok Sabha elections in Assam before Rongali Bihu so that the people here can enjoy the festival with joy.
Meanwhile, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), on the 23rd of January 2024, dismissed the reports that Lok Sabha elections will be conducted on 16th of April 2024. The reports were based on a circular from the office of the CEO to the 11 district Election Officers (DEO), which had tentatively marked the date for the upcoming polls on April 16, 2024.
As per the circular, the Election Commission of India had tentatively set April 16, 2024, as the date of polling. However, the CEO later clarified that it was solely for the purpose of reference and to calculate start and end dates in the Election Planner.
The title of the circular was ‘Compliance/adhering to timelines given in Election Planner of Election Commission of India.’
The Delhi CEO’s office later took to X to brush aside all the speculations surrounding it. The post clarified that the purpose of the circular is to provide a ‘reference’ for officials to calculate the start and end dates in the Election Planner. Meanwhile, the next Lok Sabha elections are slated to be held between April and May, but the exact date has not been confirmed till now.
The Assam CM's proactive suggestion aims to align the polling schedule with local traditions, allowing citizens to fully participate in and enjoy the Rongali Bihu festival without the disruption caused by election activities.