This year's Lok Sabha polls are likely to be held between April and May.
"We hope that the polling will be held in a free and fair manner and the EC will be impartial, proactive and responsive", he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. Consequent on the announcement of the schedule for the General Election, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for the Guidance of Political Parties and Candidates comes into operation with immediate effect from today itself in the entire country. Votes will be counted on May 23, he said. Unlike in other states where the BJP-led NDA had stunning victory in 2014 general elections, the saffron party and its ally SAD failed to replicate the success in Punjab where they have been in power for the past seven years.
The Lok Sabha elections will be spread across seven phases, beginning from April 11, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora announced on Sunday.
Arora said the Election Commission made a decision to announce the schedule for only Lok Sabha polls in the state and not for the assembly elections due to inputs it had received from authorities regarding constraint of availability of central forces for enforcing security in the wake of recent violence.
1st phase polling to be held on 11th April, 2nd phase on 18th April, 3rd phase on 23rd April, 4th phase polling to be held on 29th April, 5th phase polling on 6th May, 6th phase polling on 12th May, 7th phase 12th May.
Shortly after the national election dates were announced on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a series of tweets, "The festival of democracy, elections are here".
While the first phase polls to Assembly and Lok Sabha seats in constituencies of Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Berhampur and Koraput will be held on April 11, the second phase elections will be held in Bargarh, Sundergarh, Bolangir, Kandhamal and Aska constituencies on April 18. The elections in Jammu and Kashmir will not be held along with the parliamentary elections.
In the upcoming CWC meet, to be held in Ahmedabad on March 12, the party will finalise the party's manifesto, which has been in the works since October previous year.
In 2009, the EC had announced Lok Sabha poll scheduled on March 2. The last date of nomination of phase 1 is March 25.
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