With the Election Commission (EC) all set to announce the dates of the much-awaited Lok Sabha polls on Wednesday morning, the countdown for what looks like a multi-cornered personality-driven electoral contest will begin.
The EC decided to wait for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to return from his last foreign visit to Myanmar, where he attended the Bimstec conference on Tuesday evening, before unveiling the poll schedule. “Though there is no hard and fast rule on this, for form sake, the EC felt it was better not to announce the polls when the PM is on foreign soil,” said sources in the poll panel.
Along with the LS polls, Odisha and Sikkim will simultaneously have Assembly polls. The situation in Andhra Pradesh is still not clear.
The polling is likely to begin sometime around mid-April and results are likely to come out by second week of May. A new House has to be in place by June 1. This will be the first election in which the incumbent PM is admittedly out of the race and has, in fact, been preparing to vacate his official residence, 7 Race Course Road, even before the dates were out. From the EC’s end too there will be a number of firsts in this Lok Sabha polls.