New Delhi: The Election Commission will on Saturday hold a key meeting to discuss the final modalities of Lok Sabha Elections 2019, although this has not been formally announced. This comes amidst growing suspense over the poll dates for upcoming general elections.
The meeting has been scheduled for 12 PM today, and would be chaired by chief election commissioner Sunil Arora, News18 reported. Further, two other election commissioners along with officials of the poll commission will attend the meeting.
Earlier on March 7, the Election Commission of India (ECI) said that the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 schedule is likely to be announced ‘any day’, PTI reported. The announcement over the dates for general election ‘could happen over the weekend or at most by Tuesday’, a senior functionary of the poll body told the news agency. Notably, the term of the present Lok Sabha ends on June 3.
There is a strong possibility that the EC 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.
The Commission has held several review meetings across the country in last few weeks to gear up its machinery.
The required electronic voting machines and paper trail machines are in place to be deployed in nearly 10 lakh polling stations across 543 Lok Sabha constituencies.
In 2004, the Commission had announced four-phase Lok Sabha polls on February 29. While the first date of polling was April 20 and the last date was May 10. In 2009, the EC had announced Lok Sabha poll scheduled on March 2. The five-phase polls began on April 16 and ended on May 13. In 2014, the EC had announced the election schedule on March 5 and the nine-phase electoral exercise was spread across April and May.