EC may announce Lok Sabha poll dates in mid-March

The EC may announce the schedule of the parliamentary elections sometime in the middle of March, while the polls are likely to take place in April and May. PTI file photo

With the final electoral roll after the 2019 summery revision now out, the Election Commission is collecting details of the dates of festivals and school examinations as it is preparing to finalise the schedule for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The EC may announce the schedule of the parliamentary elections sometime in the middle of March, while the polls are likely to take place in April and May. The polling is likely to be conducted in several phases across the nation and the commission is keen to ensure that the poll-dates do not clash with the festivals in the states as well as the school examinations, sources told the DH.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has already announced the schedule of the Class X and Class XII examinations, making it sure that both commence and conclude earlier than usual so that the electioneering could not disturb the students preparing for the examinations. The Class X examinations will start on February 21 and end on March 29, while Class XII will be held from February 15 to April 3 next.

Sources said that the first phase of polling for the elections of the 17th Lok Sabha might take place in the second week of April. The last could be held in the first or the second week of May. The counting could be held in the third or fourth week of May, added the sources.

The EC had held the elections for the 16th Lok Sabha in record nine phases between April 7 and May 12, 2014. The counting was held on May 16, 2014.

The final electoral rolls with January 1, 2019, as the qualifying date were published in all the states and Union Territories on Friday. This marked the end of the Summary Revision of Electoral Rolls 2019. The process had started on September 1, 2018.

The polling to elect the new state assemblies in Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim are likely to take place along with the parliamentary elections. The state assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir, which is now under President's Rule, may also be held with Lok Sabha elections in April-May. The state assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana are scheduled to be held later this year.

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EC may announce Lok Sabha poll dates in mid-March

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