10 March 2019
New Delhi: The much awaited 2019 Lok Sabha election schedule will be announced on Sunday evening.
The Election Commission will be declaring the election dates at a press conference at the Vigyan Bhavan at 5 p.m.
The schedule for Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim are also likely to be announced on Sunday.
The poll panel on Saturday conducted a review meeting as part of its preparations for the staggered elections to elect 543 members to the Lok Sabha. Two members are nominated.
When the Lok Sabha schedule is announced on Sunday evening, the model code of conduct will come into effect immediately.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is again spearheading the Bharatiya Janata Party's campaign to retain power against an opposition that wants to end his rule but is still struggling to overcome the many differences within.
The 2014 Lok Sabha election, which brought to power the Modi-led BJP ending 10 years of Congress-led UPA rule, was spread over nine phases -- from April 7 to May 12. The votes were counted on May 16, 2014.
The BJP said it was ready for the election battle.
BJP spokesperson Bizay Sonkar Shastri told IANS: "We are prepared for the polls. We are already in election mode. Our cadres are contacting the voters at the booth level. We have the achievements of the central government as well as the state governments.
"People of the country have full faith on Modiji. We are confident that the country will again elect Modi as Prime Minister."
Congress spokesperson Shakti Singh Gohil said the Election Commission delayed announcing the Lok Sabha election schedule so as to help the BJP.
"The elections in 2014 were announced on March 5... The delay this time is only to allow Modi to use government platform and taxpayers money to woo voters by making grand announcements. This delay is making people to point fingers at EC even before the elections begin."