The dates for national election are just an hour away from the announcement by the Election Commission this evening at 5 pm. The upcoming election will go all guns blazing with a huge voting activity that will see PM Narendra Modi seeking one more term in his office while his opposition trying to join only to put up a strong fight.
Elections will also be held across in four states namely Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha along with the parliamentary polls. The opposition Congress accused Election Commission of delaying the dates to help the government to push through the launch of welfare schemes and projects.
It is to be noted that no announcements can be made after the model code of conduct starts with the election dates.
Elections for the 543 Lok Sabha seats will be held by May while the term of the present Lok Sabha ends on June 3. Elections will be held in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh by April-May.
In 2014, PM Narendra Modi’s BJP was voted to power as it became the first party in three decades. BJP earned 282 of the 543 seats in Lok Sabha, where the majority mark is 272. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) clinched 336 seats.
The Congress was “voted out of power” after 2 terms and was reduced to just 44 seats. It failed to qualify for the post of the “Leader of the Opposition”, for which a party needs 10% seats in the Lok Sabha.
The Model Code of Conduct, which lays down the code of conduct prior to the elections will come to play the moment the dates are announced.
Over the last months, the Commission officials have been on careful assessment tours, inspecting whether all the states have been logistically set to hold elections.
Alleging a detainment by the election body, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel had tweeted: “Is the Election Commission waiting for the Prime Minister’s “official” travel programs to conclude before announcing dates for General Elections?”
It is still not decided whether the elections in Jammu and Kashmir will take place along with the Lok Sabha elections. FYI, the state has been under Governor’s rule since the BJP terminated the ruling alliance with Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party in June.
Despite appeals made by political parties for holding elections in J&K, the Election Commission officials did a feasibility check. The current situation in the state has been sensitive in the wake of Pulwama terror attack.
In the year 2014, the Commission announced the schedule on March 5. The nine-phase electoral exercise was spread across April and May. The first phase polling was held on April 7 and the last phase happened on May 12.