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Election Commission to announce dates of poll today at 5 p.m.

The Election Commission will be addressing a press conference today on Sunday wherein it is expected to announce the dates for the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Notification for the first phase could be issued by the end of March for voting sometime in early April, sources suggested.

There is a strong possibility that the Election Commission may go by the precedent and hold assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh along with the Lok Sabha polls.

Since the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly has been dissolved, the EC is bound to hold fresh polls there as well within a six-month period, which will end in May.

While there is a view that the J-K assembly elections can be held along with the Lok Sabha polls, a lot depends on the complex security situation in the state given the heightened tension along the India-Pakistan border.

The Centre and the state administration, being managed by the Centre-appointed Governor, are against holding the two elections together.

However, all political parties in the state favoured simultaneous polls during a meeting with the Election Commission earlier this week.

The J-K assembly’s six-year term was to end on March 16, 2021, but it got dissolved after a ruling coalition between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fell apart.

The other state assemblies and Lok Sabha have five-year terms.

The required electronic voting machines and paper trail machines are in place to be deployed in nearly 10 lakh poling stations across 543 Lok Sabha constituencies.

There is a high probability of the elections being spread across seven to eight phases this time.

In 2014, the Election Commission had announced the election schedule on March 5 and the nine-phase electoral exercise was spread across April and May.

While the first phase polling was on April 7, the last phase was on May 12.Earlier, the opposition parties have questioned the delay in announcing the dates of poll, as Ahmed Patel, senior Congress leader raised questions if it was waiting for the “official” travel programme of Prime Minister to finish.

PM Modi seems to be making quick sprints in different states, carrying out rallies along with the government functions ahead of the announcement of the election dates.

Once the model code of conduct-a set of guidelines that have been issued by the Election Commission for the conduct of political parties and candidates when the electoral proceedings are going on-gets effective, parties that are in power, in the states and the Centre are not permitted to make any announcements that can have an effect of the outcome of polls or disturb the level playing field.

According to the new rules laid out by the election commission, the candidates are required to give their details of the properties that they hold abroad, aside of the ones that are there in the country in their poll affidavits. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora stated, “The I-T department will look into it and, if any, discrepancies are found then it will be uploaded on the Election Commission (EC) website and strict action will be initiated”.


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