The Election Commission of India (ECI) will hold a press conference at 5 pm on Sunday and is likely to announce the dates of the coming Lok Sabha elections and Assembly elections to four states at the Plenary Hall of the Vigyan Bhawan. Assembly polls will be held in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections. 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.
The term of the present Lok Sabha ends on June 3. As soon as the elections are announced, the model code of conduct will come into force. Among other things, the code bars the government from announcing policy decisions. Notification for the first phase could be issued by the end of March for voting sometime in early April, sources suggested. For the 2014 national elections, the election dates were announced on March 5 and the polls were held in nine phases between April 7 to May 12.
The Election Commission had on Saturday issued an advisory asking political parties to stop the use of photos of security personnel in their campaign material. "The Commission accordingly calls upon all the political parties to advise their candidate/leaders to desist from displaying photographs of defence personnel or photographs of functions involving defence personnel in advertisements or otherwise as part of their election propaganda/campaigning," the poll panel said in the advisory.
Elections for the 545 Lok Sabha seats are due by May. (Representational image)
The dates for national elections and polls in four states will be announced by the Election Commission at 5 pm today, sources said. Assembly polls will be held in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections.
Elections for the 545 Lok Sabha seats are due by May. The Election Commission's move comes amid accusations of deliberate delay by the Congress. The party said the commission is giving more time to the government for last-minute announcement of welfare schemes and projects that cannot be done once the model code of conduct kicks in with the announcement of elections. Commission sources have rubbished the claims.
"We don't operate as per PM's schedule, we have our own schedule," a senior official of the Election Commission told NDTV.
For the 2014 national elections, the election dates were announced on March 5.