The election to fill three Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, rendered vacant by the expulsion of MPs in the cash-for-query scam, will be held alongside UP assembly polls.
In all, 10 MPs had to vacate their seats after a unanimous resolution in the Lok Sabha that was later upheld by the Supreme Court on January 10.
However, Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy kept the issue of UP assembly poll schedule under wraps. "The EC will decide on the schedule before May 14, the deadline for the new House to be in place," he said on Tuesday.
Earlier, he had addressed a conference of the observers appointed to oversee electoral process in poll-bound Punjab and Uttrakhand.
About the remaining seven seats, he said it would be decided later as these vacancies are to be filled within six months from the date of the apex court's verdict.
One vacancy each exists in Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand, while Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have two vacancies each. The seats fell vacant on December 12, 2005.
Facing a barrage of questions on Uttar Pradesh's poll preparedness, Gopalaswamy, flanked by Election Commissioners Navin Chawla and SY Quraishi, said the panel had done a lot of micro-level analysis on the electoral rolls to the extent of going into the male-female ration in each district.
Names of 50 lakh voters were removed from the rolls, which included 23 lakh dead persons and the remaining having shifted to other places. An equivalent number of new names were also added to the rolls.
Gopalaswamy disclosed that EC had sought a report from the Punjab government on a complaint against Punjab Police DG SS Virk filed by Shiromani Akali Dal whereas an earlier complaint against him was found to have no substance.
In all, 4,000 polling centres have been declared sensitive and another 1,000 as hyper-sensitive in Punjab, he said.
The CEC said that the coverage of Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) was "very satisfactory" in Punjab where it was 86 per cent. "We are quite sure in many constituencies it would reach 90 per cent", he added. However, the EPIC coverage in Uttarakhand was not good.
The election to 117-member Punjab assembly will be held on February 13 while polls to 70-member Uttarakhand assembly are slated on February 21.