Election Commission Instructs States To Prepare For Poll-Schedule Announcement

New Delhi: In an indication that assembly elections to five states could be announced anytime now, the Election Commission has asked the Centre and the state governments to implement the model code of conduct as soon as the schedule is out.

In a letter sent to the Cabinet Secretary and chief secretaries of the poll-bound states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur and Punjab, the Commission has compiled a set of instructions issued in the past to drive home the point that model code should be implemented effectively with the announcement of poll schedule.

The list of dos and don’ts issued by the Commission includes prevention of misuse of public place, avoiding use of official vehicles for campaigning, removing pictures of political functionaries from state government websites and bar on use of public money for advertisements to help the ruling party.

The poll panel has also reminded political parties to approach the Media Certification and Monitoring Committees at district and state level, for pre-certification of their political advertisements proposed to be issued in the electronic media.

Sources in the Commission said assembly polls could be announced by January 4 to the five states.

Except UP, which may go for a seven-phased elections, the other states could have elections on a single day.

While the term of the Uttar Pradesh assembly expires on May 27 next, the terms of four state assemblies end in March next.