The countdown for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections has begun as the Election Commission is expected to announce the dates for the general elections at a press conference at 5 pm on Sunday. Along with the dates for the upcoming national election, the poll panel is also likely to announce dates for assembly elections in four states, namely Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha, where the polls will be held simultaneously.
The press conference is to be held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, a press release by the EC said. The Lok Sabha elections will be held for 543 seats on nearly 10 lakh polling booths across the country, with nearly 90 crore voters exercising franchise. The current Lok Sabha’s tenure ends on June 3
It is not yet clear if the Election Commission would announce the dates for assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir, along with polls in Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha. Jammu and Kashmir has been under President’s Rule after the BJP broke its ruling alliance with the Mehbooba Mufti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in June last year
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Mayawati took a dig at the BJP with the EC likely to announce dates for Lok Sabha elections, tweeting that India will be “free of BJP advertisements”. In a tweet in Hindi, Mayawati said that the moden code of conduct will come into force after the Election Commission announces dates for the Lok Sabha elections, thus ensuring that the country is free of the “hollow and baseless announcements of PM Modi”, adding that people should be wary of BJP’s tactics.
बहुप्रतीक्षित लोकसभा चुनाव कार्यक्रम की आज शाम घोषणा होते ही आचार संहिता के लागू हो जाने से पीएम श्री मोदी की खोखली व हवाहवाई घोषणाओं व शाही खर्चों वाले इनके सरकारी शिलान्यास आदि प्रोग्रामों से देश को मुक्ति तो मिल जायेगी लेकिन जनता इनके अन्य हथकंडों से भी सावधान रहे।
— Mayawati (@Mayawati) March 10, 2019
Reacting to the news of the EC press conference on Sunday, Aam Aadmi Party’s Gopal Rai said that the party was ready for the polls. He said, “The countdown will begin after the date announcement. AAP is prepared.”
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) March 10, 2019
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted, “Bring on the dates” after the EC announced a press conference scheduled later for today. He said in his tweet, “The wait ends as done the BJP’s tax payer funded campaign spree. Bring on the dates & let’s fight the good fight (sic).”
The wait ends as done the BJP’s tax payer funded campaign spree. Bring on the dates & let’s fight the good fight.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 10, 2019
Opposition parties have questioned the EC for the delay in announcing the poll dates, with many claiming that the poll panel was waiting for PM Narendra Modi’s official travel programme to finish.
Speaking on this, Congress’ Pawan Khera told , “Doubts are bound to come. There are six to seven pages of ads every morning before you reach the main paper. When you see 157 inugurations and misusing government funds to give political speeches for yourself and your party, of course doubts are bound to come.”