Congress not exploring legal option on polls, says CM

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Shimla, Oct 18 (UNI) Asserting that the Congress was prepared for the assembly polls, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today put at rest all speculations about government exploring legal options on Election Commission's decision to hold on polls on the scheduled dates.

''The Congress is not exploring any legal options and is prepared to contest elections, which will bring the Congress back to power,'' he said at a press conference here.

Expressing unhappiness over the EC's decision to announce early assembly elections and without consultations with the state government, Mr Singh said never in the history of independent country polls were being held during the winter season of December and January.

''Three assembly elections were held in the state under my chief ministership in 1983, 1990 and 1997 and on all three occasions the state was consulted before finalising the dates for the elections,'' he said.

Mr Singh said this time the state was not consulted before announcing polling dates in two phase on November 14 and December 19.

The poll panel's discussions with political parties was for early polling in the three tribal seats of Kinnuar, Lahaul Spiti and Bharmaur, he said.

The Chief Minister said the state was heading towards constitutional crises because of the commission's refusal to reschedule polling dates.

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