ECI notification delay leading to poll schedule specualtions

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IMPHAL, March 4: As was indicated by the Election Commission of India some days back, speculations are ripe that the much awaited 16th Lok Sabha election could be held in April and May this year.

The 15th Lok Sabha election was also conducted during April and May.

However, amidst such speculation, a question concerning whether the schedule of the 16th Lok Sabha Election would be later than that of the 15th Lok Sabha Election.

What has led to this question is the fact that the previous election which was conducted in five phases over April and May starting from April 16, 2009 was announced on March 2 the same year.

The exact dates of the election are phase I on April 16, 2009; phase II on (April 22, 2009 for No 1 Inner Manipur Parliamentary constituency only) April 23, 2009; phase III on April 30, 2009; phase IV on may 7, 2009 and phase V on May 13, 2009.

The election schedule was officially notified by the ECI on March 2, 2009.

The official notification had said “The term of the 14th Lok Sabha will expire in the normal course on June 1, 2009. In terms of the constitutional provisions, a new Lok Sabha is required to be constituted before June 2, 2009.”

On the other hand, even though it is already March 4, the ECI is yet to announce the schedule of the 16th Lok Sabha Election.

This indicates that the schedule of the upcoming election will be later than the previous one.

The schedules of all Lok Sabha elections since the country became a republic in 1950 are: October 1951-52, October 1951, December 1951, February 1952; February 24-March 14, 1957; February 19-25, 1962; February 17-21, 1967; March 1-10, 1971; march 16-20, 1977; January 3-6, 1980; December 24-28, 1984; November 22-26, 1989; May 20 to June 15, 1991; April 27 to May 30, 1996; February 16-23, 1998; September 5, 11, 18, 25 and October 3-6, 1999; April 20 to May 10, 2004 and April 15 to 16 and April 22, 23, 30, May 7 and 13, 2009.

During the 2009 polls, there were a total of 828804 polling stations with 71 crore electorate. The number of polling stations in 2004 was 687402.

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