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EC to announce poll schedule in five states based on inputs by security forces

It will take a call on the dates of Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Nasim Zaidi  Photo: PTI
Nasim Zaidi Photo: PTI

The Commission will take a call on the dates of Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, and Uttarakhand, due early next year, based on the inputs provided by security forces and state law and order machinery, Chief Commissioner said on Wednesday.

He said the will be finalised keeping in mind the weather and examination

"We are trying to assess the requirement of security forces, climate and exam - all these inputs are being taken into consideration. Only then we will be able to say whether they will be staggered or multi-phase," the CEC told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

To another question on the subject, he said, "As far as the schedule is concerned, the Commission has not given a thought as yet."

While the term of the Assembly ends in May next, the terms of assemblies of Punjab, Goa, and will end in March, 2017.

Against the backdrop of Ram temple issue hogging the limelight in again, he was asked whether he thinks the Commission should be given powers to prevent political parties from making statements in poll-bound states where elections have not yet been announced.

Skirting the issue, Zaidi said once the are announced and the model code comes enforce, the will ensure its compliance in letter and spirit.

"has in the past ensured strict compliance of the model code and will ensure the same in future too," he said.

Terming use of money power a "matter of concern", the CEC said in the last elections, it was a matter of concern and in the coming too there is feedback that there is possibility of misuse of money power.

"We have a strategy and we are making it more robust," he said, adding that the poll watchdog has already written to the government to make bribery an electoral offence.

First Published: Wed, October 19 2016. 15:22 IST