New Delhi: The Election Commission is likely to announce the schedule for the assembly elections in Odisha along with the general elections in the first week of March.
In 2014, the poll dates were announced on March 5.
1. Lok Sabha and Assembly elections are also expected to be held simultaneously in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
2. News agency ANI quoting sources said the general elections could be held in 6 to 7 phases and the entire process would be completed by May. Lok Sabha elections in 2014 was held in 9 phases and the new government assumed office on May 26.
3. Jammu and Kashmir could also be added to the list as Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said in Parliament that government had no objection if the Election Commission wanted to go ahead with such a proposal.
4. Media reports suggested that along with the schedule for the Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission would also announce the schedule for the state assembly elections.
5. The model code of conduct would come into effect immediately after the poll dates are announced. The commission has issued instructions to all the states for completing the revision of electoral rolls by January 31.
6. While the term of the present Lok Sabha will end on June 3, that of Sikkim Assembly on May 27, Andhra Pradesh assembly on June 18, Odisha assembly on June 11 and Arunachal Pradesh assembly on June 1.
7. News agency IANS quoting sources said that the poll panel is making necessary logistical calculations in terms of examination schedules, holidays and availability of security forces for what is the largest democratic exercise in the world.
8. News agency PTI added that the Commission is in the process of deciding the number of phases and the months in which polling would be held.
9. Meanwhile, on Friday Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora has lamented that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were being treated like a “football” by parties suffering electoral losses, and said the voting equipment was foolproof as far as fears of manipulation were concerned.
10. “The Lok Sabha polls would see the use of these on a still larger scale. The Election Commission is committed to holding the elections in a free and fair manner,” he said.