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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 05, 2014
The Election Commission has begun the process of announcing the schedule for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The EC's decision to call polls seems to have taken the government by surprise which had planned a cabinet meeting on Thursday to push some last-minute sops. The model code of conduct comes , preventing the government from making any decisions that can be seen as influencing voters. It also prohibits political parties from making unsubstantiated allegations against opponents.

Full coverage: My India My Vote

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The decision to announce the elections in which 814 million voters will be eligible to exercise their franchise was taken after a series of meeting by chief election commissioner VS Sampath on Tuesday and firming up of the security plan.

The term of the current Lok Sabha expires June 1. A new House has to be constituted by May 31.

CATCH LIVE COVERAGE: ANNOUNCEMENT OF LOK SABHA ELECTION SCHEDULE