The Election Commission is all set to announce the schedule for the high-voltage Lok Sabha elections at 5 pm on Sunday at Vigyan Bhavan, plenary hall, which is likely to be spread over 7-8 phases in April-May. The term of the present Lok Sabha ends on June 3. However, as per sources, a Model Code of Conduct that will come into force after the announcement of Lok Sabha election dates.
What is the Model Code of Conduct (MCC):
The Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct is to regulate political parties and political candidates before the elections. The rules apply to issues relating speeches, polling day, booth, the content of election manifestos and a general code. This code of conduct stays in force from the date of announcement to the day of result.
MCC disallows political parties either in Opposition or Centre to use their official power positions to the campaign, hence no policy or scheme can be announced to impact the voting behavior. The EC has released a complete document listing the MCC which can be accessed here, meanwhile here are the few rules that political parties need to adhere to:
Municipalities should ensure that all posters are removed by tonight if elections are announced today.
The poll body was in the final stages of completing its logistical preparations for holding elections. According to news PTI, the Election Commission will announce the poll schedule at 5 pm on Sunday.
Earlier, a senior Election Commission functionary told PTI that poll body is prepared to announce the dates and it could happen over the weekend or at most by Tuesday. It said the first phase polling will probably take place in early April and notification for the same will be issued by the end of March.
The Election Commission is also likely to hold assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh along with the Lok Sabha polls. Also, it is likely to that assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir will be held simultaneously. The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was dissolved on November 21 last year and the Election Commission is bound to hold fresh polls there as well within a six-month period.
In 2014, the Election Commission had announced the elections schedule on March 5. The nine-phase exercise was held between April 7 and May 12. The counting was held on May 16.