Election dates announced for two key states
The Election Commission of India has named dates for elections in two important states in India. Elections for the state of Gujarat in Western India have been called for in two phases. The first phase of the election will take place on 13th December and the second phase on 17th December with counting taking place on 20th December.
Gujarat has around 37.8 million voters of the 60.8 million population. In the 2007 elections the current national opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 117 of the 183 seats in the state assembly. The nationally ruling Indian National Congress (INC) won 55 seats.
The second election will take place in Himachal state in Northern India on 4th November. There are around 4.2 million voters within the nearly 7 million population. Again the BJP control the state having won 42 of the 68 seats in the 2007 election; the INC took just 23 seats.
With a general election likely in 2013 the parties will be watching closely to see how well they do in these two states. With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh introducing a series of market friendly foreign investment moves in recent weeks it will be a key indicator of the people’s opinion of the INC led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.