LOK Sabha Poll Will Be Held On Time: Election Commission

ASSERTING that nobody has succeeded in proving the accusation that EVMs can be manipulated, Chief Election Commissioner    Sunil Arora said the coming Lok Sabha elections will be held in the country on time. EVMs have been used for over two decades. The nationwide general election for 543 seats   is to be held in April-May to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha .He however had not indicated any deadline to announce the schedule. Before firming the programs , the Election Commission  of India  consult all  the states , Union Territories  and the Government of India  relating to law and order and availability  of  cooperation  of security  forces. He was speaking to answering queries of reporters at Lucknow after the 3-Member ECI had reviewed poll preparedness in Uttar Pradesh with concerned officers. “The election in the country will be held on time,” Arora told reporters here when asked about the poll schedule in the wake of tensions between the two countries. He said as per a new notification of the commission, candidates will have to give details of their properties abroad, besides those in the country.“The I-T Department will look into it and, if any, discrepancies are found then it will be uploaded on the Election Commission (EC) website and strict action will be initiated,” CEC Arora said. Answering  a question  about  EC’s stand on inflammatory speeches, Arora said in his review meetings, he tried to find out the status of such cases lodged during previous elections.“Whatever the EC has found, I have apprised about its intentions to the chief secretary and the DGP, who assured that strict action will be taken in such cases,” he said.The commission is committed to holding free and fair polls, and will promptly act on any complaint regarding this, the CEC said.“The C-Vigil app will be launched soon so that any citizen, whose name will be kept secret, can register his poll related complaints. Besides this, we will constitute committees to keep an eye on social media,” he said. His statement on EVMs indicated that the Election Commission has rejected the demand of some opposition parties including Congress, Samajwadi Party, BSP and TMC, TDP and AAP for conducting election by paper ballot. The leaders of these parties had recently called on the Election Commissioners and submitted a joint memorandum on their plea. Incidentally, the last Lok Sabha elections in Indian were conducted in 9 phases from 7 April 2014 to 12 May 2014.The results of the election were declared on 16 May 2014. The Bharatiya Janata Party heading the NDA achieved an absolute majority with 282 seats out of 543, 166 more than previous 15th Lok Sabha. Along with the Lok Sabha poll, assembly elections are expected to be held in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Odisha, Sikkim and Jammu & Kashmir.

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