Gearing up for the Lok Sabha elections and simultaneous assembly polls in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Sikkim, the Election Commission has scheduled a series of meetings including one with the Union Home Secretary this week before declaring the poll dates.
The three-member Commission will hold discussions with Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta on the law and order situation across the country and availability of Central paramilitary forces to ensure free and fair polls.
The meeting with the Home Secretary, the second in a fortnight, assumes significance as sizable number of security personnel would be needed to meet the demand of political parties of holding the polls in minimum number of phases.
Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami and other two Election Commissioners Navin Chawla and SY Quraishi will also meet Telecom Secretary tomorrow to augment communication network, a crucial input for the better election management, an EC official said.
The countdown for the Lok Sabha polls has already begun with the EC meeting leaders of political parties, followed by a meeting with Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) as part of efforts to gear up for the general elections likely in April-May.