Model Code of Conduct to come into effect two weeks after the announcement
The announcement for the forthcoming general elections could be made on March 3 with the Model Code of Conduct, which prohibits the Government from making any major policy decisions, coming into play within two weeks of the announcement.
Officials of various Ministries involved in infrastructure projects have informally been told by the Election Commission that they have till March 3 to push the processes forward. When contacted, Election Commission sources declined to confirm the exact date but said it is expected to be “around that time.” EC has also been holding consultations with the Home Ministry on force availability and deployment. Although poll dates usually factor in the examination schedules and crop cycles, the general elections for the last two Lok Sabha elections clashed with annual examinations.
The next Lok Sabha has to be constituted before June 1 as the term of the 15th Lok Sabha ends on May 31 this year. In 2009, the announcement was made on March 2 and the elections were held in five phases from April 16 to May 13. The elections this year are also expected to be held in several phases.