EC to announce poll dates today

EC to announce poll dates today

EC to announce poll dates today

The schedule for the Lok Sabha polls will be announced by the Election Commission on Wednesday.

With the announcement of poll dates, the Model Code of Conduct for governments and political parties will come into force with immediate effect.

The schedule will be announced at a press conference by Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath along with Election Commissioners H S Brahma and S N A Zaidi. The conference this time is being held at Vigyan Bhawan instead of at Nirvachan Bhawan, the EC headquarters.

As the term of the 15th Lok Sabha will end on May 31, it is expected that the elections for the 543 seats in the Lower House of Parliament will take place in several phases in the next two months. The new Lok Sabha has to be in place by June 1.

Sources said elections would be conducted in several phases in order to ensure optimum use of security forces, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, insurgency-hit areas in North East and the constituencies affected by Maoist violence.

The last Lok Sabha polls were held in five phases between April 16 and May 13 in 2009.The size of the electorate grew by 21.31 per cent over the past 10 years to rise from 671,487,930 in 2004 to 814,591,184 in 2014. Nearly 3.91 crore new voters were added in the run up to the fourth National Voters’ Day on January 25 and they included 1.27 crore first time voters.

The EC is also expected to declare on Wednesday the schedule of the Assembly elections in Odisha and Sikkim as well as in Andhra Pradesh, including the regions that would comprise the new state of Telangana. The Assembly polls in the three states are likely to take place along with the Lok Sabha polls.