The Election Commission on Monday felt happy that a firm stand taken by it not to yield to requests for postponing the Uttarakhand Assembly polls for “weather” reasons paid dividends in the form of increased voter turnout in the hill State.
“We had taken all factors into account, including the weather, after receiving reports from the authorities concerned, while fixing the poll date, and this time on Monday, the poll percentage had crossed 70 against the figure of 63 in the 2007 polls, which were held in February then,” a senior EC official said.
Had the Commission succumbed to pressure from political parties and changed the date to mid-February — the weathermen had indicated that only in February could there be more snowfall — a situation could have arisen forcing postponement of the election to March.
“It would have caused severe disturbance to the schedule as we cannot hold the polls in March as the new Assembly has to be constituted by March 13 and security forces [will be] needed in U.P. [last phase] and Goa for polls,” the official said, adding the Commission could not compromise on some issues and take risk.