Monday, March 2, 2009

Election Commission to announce Lok Sabha election dates today

 The three-member Election Commission is meeting on Monday in New Delhi to finalise dates for the upcoming General Elections.

The final schedule is expected to be announced at around 1530 hrs IST on Monday. The elections are expected to be held in April-May are likely to be held in five to seven phases.

The model code of conduct will come into effect as soon as the election dates are announced.

The EC meeting, being chaired by Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami, is significant because it comes only a day after President Pratibha Patil rejected the CEC's recommendation to remove Election Commissioner Navin Chawla.

Gopalaswami had written a letter to the President for the removal of Chawla as an Election Commissioner sparking off a controversy.

However, the President rejected the recommendation of Gopalaswami after the Law Ministry gave its views on the matter.

Gopalaswami's term ends on April 20, 2009, which means a major part of the elections to the 15th Lok Sabha will be held under Chawla's supervision.

In the 14th Lok Sabha the UPA had 217 members, the NDA 185 while the Left Front had 60 MPs.

Parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party, Telugu Desam Party other smaller parties had 78 members while there were three Independents.