EC Signals 4-phased Polls, Says Schedule Very Soon

New Delhi, Feb 20: | Updated: Feb 21 2004, 05:30am hrs
Indicating a four-phased Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission has said the schedule will be announced very soon after taking into account factors like board examinations, festivals, weather conditions and the harvesting season.

Broadly it (polling) will be in four phases, EC spokesman AN Jha said here on Friday after a four-hour all-party meeting with leaders of leading political partied. About the poll schedule, he said, at the appropriate time the Commission would make public such a critical announcement.

Asked whether Karnataka, where the government had recommended Assembly dissolution on Monday, would have simultaneous polls, Jha said the state had already informed EC about the dissolution and that obviously there will be simultaneous polls. We have taken that also into account.

Jha said that the EC would use electronic voting machines for the Lok Sabha as well as the Assembly polls where they were going to be held simultaneously and would deploy 10.75 lakh EVMs for the purpose. The Commission, which has also held consultations with state chief secretaries, directors general of police and chief electoral officers as well as Union home secretary Anil Baijal, would work out the requirement of security forces for ensuring free and fair polls.