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Poll schedule in 5 states by September 6

By R Prema in New Delhi
August 12, 2008 19:43 IST
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The Election Commission will announce the schedule of the Assembly elections in five states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram on September 5 or 6, clamping its code of conduct on the political parties and governments from that date.

A decision to that effect was taken by the full-bench meeting of the Election Commission in Delhi on Tuesday. It kept in abeyance any decision on the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections in view of the Centre's request to hold them in summer, citing deteriorating law and order situation in the state.

The commission sources said the Election Commission is studying the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. None of the election commissioners or chief election commissioners were prepared to say anything on the J&K elections.

Sources, however, said the commission has sought reports of not only the home ministry and the state government, but also called in reports of the Intelligence Bureau and the Military Intelligence. It has also sought comments of the state electoral officer.

As regards the five other states, the sources said the announcement of the elections was deferred to September. Since the establishment of the polling booths and new electoral rolls is to be completed only by August 30 and the elections cannot be announced until this formality is over, the sources said.

The chief electoral officers of these states were called at Tuesday's meeting of the commission to take stock of the delimitation formalities and the issue of the photo identity cards to the voters, the sources added.

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R Prema in New Delhi