The Election Commission has written to all poll-bound states to announce examination schedules only after consulting it, to ensure assembly elections do not coincide with examination dates.
According to EC sources, the Commission has told the states that as per Section 15(2) of Representation of People’s Act, these states can hold polls anytime within six months before the end of the term of their assemblies.
The EC relies on school infrastructure, such as buildings to double up as polling booths and teachers too are drafted for election duty. “The Commission is aware that examinations are to be held in the first half of the year, and does not want it to clash with the elections; as it will be difficult for carrying out election work,” an official said.
Five states—Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur and Uttar Pradesh—will be electing new assemblies in 2017. Even though the dates have not yet been announced by the Election Commission, polling is likely to be held between February to April.