EC hints at LS poll dates by Feb end

PTI, NEW DELHI | 13 January 2014 19:12 IST

The Election Commission has said that Lok Sabha elections will be held in five or six phases and the dates will most probably be announced in the last week of February or early March.

"We will announce the election dates in the end of February like we did in 2009," said Election Commissioner of India HS Brahma.

He hinted that the Election Commission may go for a six-phase polling this time.

He said, "In 2009 we had a five-phase election, we may do a six-phase this time. We are yet to firm that up after meeting with the officials Ministry of Home Affairs and after understanding the ground situation across India."

He said that the Election Commission had already started preliminary preparations and all was going in full swing.

Cautioning political leaders against making personal attacks on their rivals, Brahma said, "Certain comments that are not palatable whether election or not let's not indulge in it. We should limit ourselves as gentlemen."

Reacting to a question on state funding of elections, he said that there were some proposals earlier and they were not approving it. He said, "we have decided against it."

He also opposed the opinion polls saying that "the opinion polls should definitely be banned".

Expressing hope about the right to recall, Brahma said, "NOTA is making a huge difference, rural voters are familiar with it, it will have a tremendous impact."

However, he also added that India in the present state was not prepared for Right to Recall.

"It's okay at gram panchayat and municipal level elections, at India at a whole we can't use it. How do we implement it? It's too early for right to recall. We don't have systems in place," he said.

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