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Over to general elections

india Updated: Dec 08, 2008 23:22 IST
HT Political Bureau

On the day assembly election results in five states were announced, Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami ruled out the possibility of early general elections.

“The Lok Sabha elections are likely to be held between mid-April and mid-May.... We have no particular interest in advancing it unless there is an absolutely great need for that,” said Gopalaswami , who is retiring as CEC by mid April.

Earlier, the Congress had speculated on the possibility of elections in February stating that the Lok Sabha may be dissolved after the December session. However, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had stated that elections would be held in time.

Gopalaswami confirmed that popular view that there was no need for early general elections. As per schedule, the 15th Lok Sabha is to be constituted by mid-May, when the UPA government will complete its five years in office.

Election Commission officials said that early elections are not warranted because as per election rules the electoral rolls should be updated to include all eligible voters by January 1, 2009.

“The process for updating electoral rolls all over the country will start in January-February so that the elections can be held sometime in April and May,” a senior election commission official told HT.

India has over 66 crore voters and in Lok Sabha 2004 polls about 57.86 per cent of them polled their votes.