Lok Sabha Elections 2019: From Meetings With Various Officers To Festivals, Examinations, CEC Sunil Arora Details Factors Considered Before Deciding The Dates

Elections

Addressing the media, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora shared the entire process the body followed to decided on the dates. From meetings to various officers of various departments in all the states to other factors like examinations, festivals and weather also played a crucial role in their announcement.

Written By Joel Kurian | Mumbai | Updated On:

The build-up to the  Lok Sabha Elections has started with the Election Commission of India announcing in Delhi on Sunday the dates for the polls to be held throughout the country. Addressing the media, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora shared the entire process the body followed to decided on the dates. From meetings to various officers of various departments in all the states to other factors like examinations, festivals and weather also played a crucial role in their announcement of the dates.

READ: Lok Sabha 2019 Election Dates: Counting To Be Held On 23 May - Here's The Full Schedule For The 2019 Parliamentary Polls For All Phases As Announced By The Election Commission

Here's what the Election Commissioner said about what went behind the preparations, “This Commission started preparing for elections for quite some time. We started with organising a series of meetings with Chief Electoral Officers of all the states and UTs in order to review various aspects of election preparedness. Video conferences with the Chief Secretariats, DGs, Home Secretaries, Chief Electoral Officers and Police Nodal Officers from MHA as well as from the states were held on 21st, 22nd and 28th January to assess the overall law and order situation in the state or UT specific-area of concern and deliberate on the quantum of Central Armed Police Forces required.

"Several rounds of discussions were held with the Ministry of Home Affairs, at the level of our officers, and we also held an in-depth discussion with the Home Secretary. The Commission also held deliberations with several key departments, especially the Railways to ensure the smooth movement and facilitation during the conduct of elections, to get first-hand knowledge of the status of the poll preparedness in the state.

"We visisted several states and UTs to review the poll preparedness. During these visits, there is a standard SOP which is followed by the Commission, not just us, but before us too this has been a tradition, that first of all, we start, with interaction with the political parties. After that, we have the presentations with the CEOs of the state, the Police Nodal Officer of that State and the Cental Nodal Officer from whichever CPF is designated for that state or UT.

"After that, we have an in-depth interaction, sometimes of 10-12 hours, if not more, of the electors, SPs, IGs, Commissioners of Police, wherever there is Commissioner system, and all their colleagues. This is followed by a meeting of the Central Government departments, Income Tax, State Excise, Central Excise in order to talk about the expenditure. Then there is a meeting with the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and their colleagues, the DGP and their colleagues. After doing all these, we report back to the media in a press conference in the state.

 "While finalising poll dates, examination schedules of various state boards, CBSE, other relevant factors like various festivals ,including those which have bindings like when people are fasting, etc, harvest season in certain parts of the country as well as the inputs obtained from the weather department are also adequately factored in.

READ: LOK SABHA ELECTIONS 2019: 10 Lakh Polling Stations, 900 Million-strong Electorate, VVPATs With All EVMs, Says CEC Sunil Arora Announcing The Poll Dates

"In fact, behind the scenes, I’d like to tell you that our colleagues, the Senior Deputy Officer and all his colleagues, they have been slogging for many months together to work out all these things. They do it every time, they have done it this time also." 

The election is going to take place in seven phases instead of 9 as compared to 2014 elections.

Phase 1:

Last date of nomination is set to be on March 25 (Monday)

Date for Scrutiny of nominations: March 26

Last date of withdrawal of nominations: March 28

Last date of polling: April 11

Date of counting: May 23

91 seats in 20 states

Phase 2:

Last date of nomination is set to be on March 26 

Date for Scrutiny of nominations: March 27

Last date of withdrawal of nominations: March 29

Last date of polling: April 18

Date of counting: May 23

97 seats in 13 states

Phase 3:

Last date of nomination is set to be on April 4

Date for Scrutiny of nominations: April 5

Last date of withdrawal of nominations: April 8

Last date of polling: April 23

Date of counting: May 23

115 seats in 14 states

Phase 4:

Date for Scrutiny of nominations: April 2

Last date of polling: April 29

Date of counting: May 23

71 seats in 9 states

Phase 5:

Last date of polling: May 6

Date of counting: May 23

71 seats in 9 states

Phase 6:

Last date of polling: May 12

Date of counting: May 23

59 seats in 7 states

Phase 7:

Last date of polling: May 19

Date of counting: May 23

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