The Election Commission (EC) may announce the schedule of the parliamentary elections sometime in the middle of March, while the polls are likely to take place in April and May. The polling is likely to be conducted in several phases across the country and the EC is keen to ensure that the poll-dates do not clash with the school examinations as well as festivals in the States. The term of the present Lok Sabha ends on June 3.
An EC spokesperson, however, said, “No decision has been taken as yet on the date when the elections would be announced.”
According to sources, the Commission is in the process of deciding the number of phases and the months in which polling would be held. The charting of the phases would also depend on the availability of security forces and other requirements, the sources said, adding the announcement of the mega exercise is likely to be made in first week of March.
The polling to elect the new Assemblies in Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim are likely to take place along with the parliamentary elections. The State Assembly polls in J&K, which is now under President’s Rule may also be held with Lok Sabha polls in April-May.
The Assembly in Jammu and Kashmir was dissolved in November, 2018 and the upper limit ends in May. In normal circumstances, the J&K Assembly’s six-year term was to end on March 16, 2021. The other State Assemblies and the Lok Sabha have a five-year term. The State Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana are scheduled to be held later this year. While the term of the Sikkim Assembly ends on May 27, 2019, the terms of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Arunachal Pradesh assemblies end on June 18, June 11 and June 1 respectively.
The final electoral rolls with January 1, 2019, as the qualifying date were published in all the States and Union Territories. This marked the end of the Summary Revision of Electoral Rolls 2019. The process had started on September 1, 2018.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has already announced the schedule of the Class Xth and Class XIIth examinations, making it sure that both commence and conclude earlier than usual so that the electioneering could not disturb the students preparing for the examinations. The Class Xth examinations will start on February 21 and end on March 29, while Class XII will be held from February 15 to April 3.