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India's Lok Sabha Elections to be held from Mid-April
January 5, 2014, 3:24 pm
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Bracing for the big exercise, the Election Commission is all set to hold Lok Sabha elections starting mid-April and spread it over at least five phases till early May.

The much-awaited announcement for the polls is likely to be made by the end of February or early March, for which work has already begun, top Commission sources said.

Along with the Lok Sabha polls, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim will go to polls to elect their new assemblies.

"The announcement of the poll schedule would be done in the last days of February or at best the first two-three days of March," the sources told .

Before the scheduled announcement, the Lok Sabha may meet for one last time to pass a vote-on-account budget to enable expenditure for six months of the new fiscal year 2014-15 to give time for the new Government to present a full-fledged budget in the next Parliament.

There is also speculation that a special session of Parliament may be convened shortly to pass anti-corruption measures by the government in the run up to the elections. The term of the current Lok Sabha expires on June 1 and the new House has to be constituted by May 31.

The Commission is looking into the issue of whether to spread the elections over five phases or may be one more phase.

An estimated 80 crore voters will be eligible to vote in the coming elections after new voters have been added to the rolls, whose final revision is underway.

The Commission has already got the electoral rolls ready, except for some "health check-ups" to be made so that they are out before the end of this month, they said.

"We already have a list of electoral rolls. We need to update it. We expect that before January end, the lists will be ready," a top EC official said.

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