The Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday welcomed the finalisation of dates for the upcoming elections and expressed their faith in the Election Commission in holding a free and fair exercise.
The Election Commission announced that the process would be held in five phases from April 16 to May 13. Counting of votes would be held on May 16.
"We have confidence that on May 16 when the counting would be done, the country would get a new government under the leadership of LK Advani," said BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad, confident that the people would vote for change after five years of the United Progressive Alliance government.
Prasad also expressed his full faith in the Election Commission holding impartial elections and said it had played a unique role in strengthening Indian democracy.
"In the last 19 years, the Election Commission has made a unique contribution in strengthening democracy. The civil society and polity has shown a confidence in the transparent working of the commission. We hope that the legacy of the unique position of the commission continues with time," Prasad said.
Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan echoed him when she said: "We welcome it and I am glad that they have done it unitedly. I am sure that elections would be concluded in free and fair manner."
The three-member poll panel has been embroiled in a controversy with reports of a tussle between Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami and Election Commissioner Navin Chawla.