New Delhi: Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2019, the Election Commission (EC) on Saturday fixed a timeline for the release of the manifesto by political parties.

The EC has barred all the political parties from releasing election manifestos in the last 48 hours before polling. In a statement released by the poll body, it said, “Manifestos for both single and multiphase elections shall not be released during the prohibitory period, as prescribed under Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.”

It further stated that the provision will, henceforth, be applicable and implemented as a part of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for all the elections to be held in the future. Until the announcement made today, there was no rule on the timing of the release of manifestos.

In 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had released its Lok Sabha manifesto on the same day as the first phase of voting. The commission was unable to act then since the MCC was silent on the timing of the manifesto’s release. A panel had been formed by the EC recently that recommended parties be barred from releasing manifesto in the last 72 hours before polling.

The first phase of polling will be held on April 11, the second phase on April 18, third phase on April 23, fourth phase on April 29, fifth phase on May 6, sixth phase on May 12 and seventh phase on May 19.