EC Signals First Phase After April 17

New Delhi, Feb 25: | Updated: Feb 26 2004, 05:30am hrs
The Election Commission has broadly indicated that the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls can start after April 17. We have complete list of examination schedule in the states. The examinations are ending around April 16/17 in some states, EC spokesman AN Jha told reporters here on Wednesday when asked whether the Commission has received the examination schedule from the states.

He said that school buildings, which are used for elections, are one of the important factors in deciding the poll schedule. The Commission had last week hinted that the elections would be held in four phases.

Replying to a question, Jha said the Commission has also received requests from some states for holding bypoll in some Assembly constituencies. He said the Commission is trying to set up helplines, particularly in urban areas, for the benefit of voters to know about the constituency and the polling station.

These will be set up for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, Jha said, adding in the Capital such an arrangement is existing and this will be augmented substantially.

Asked whether the Commission will enter into tie-up with some mobile phone companies to send SMS messages to voters, he said the Commission is trying to work it out but at present it will be landline based. To a question that voters in Jammu and Kashmir will be provided with special security identity cards made by the Nashik Security Press, he said nearly 55 per cent of the voters already have such cards and the new cards will also be on the same line.