The Election Commission is stumped with Mayawati's [ Images ] double googly to prevent it from advancing to February-March the assembly elections in the state despite the House term ending only on May 20.
The same election machinery conducts both the assembly and the municipal elections and as such it became impractical for the Election Commission to declare the assembly polls in February, as it would appear to be in defiance of the Supreme Court directive for the municipal polls that cannot be held while the assembly election process is on.
The second googly came on Wednesday when the Uttar Pradesh Board of Secondary Education announced the examinations from March 1 to April 4 and practical examinations earlier from mid-January to mid-February. This has made it difficult for the Election Commission to start the polls in February as it would disturb the students' preparations for exams and a spread-over to one or two rounds in March is ruled out as teachers busy with exams will not be spared for the poll duties.
Eye on Rajya Sabha
Mayawati is trying to set the record of completing her full term that none in the recent years have achieved as she points out that the 2007 elections too were held from April 7 to May 8 and hence why not this time. She officially wrote to the Election Commission that there is no reason to advance the elections.
Ten seats from UP are among 58 falling vacant in the Rajya Sabha on April 2 and as such she will get the advantage to send maximum numbers to the House by virtue of the Bahujan Samaj Party's thumping majority in the current assembly. The BSP already has 18 members in the Rajya Sabha, five of whom are retiring on April 2.
Sources in the Election Commission, however, insist that at no stage it had decided to hold the elections in February-March as the schedule of polls is still under preparation and all factors will be taken into account, particularly exams, while finalising the poll dates.