Indian general elections by May 18

January 28th, 2009 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 28 (IANS) India will hold the next parliamentary elections by May 18, Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi has said.The date is linked to the Sikkim assembly elections, he told an audience of British academics and politicians after delivering a lecture here Tuesday on the Jammu and Kashmir polls held in December.

“It’s an open and shut case in the sense that in March (general) elections are not possible” because of school examinations, he said. Most polling centres are normally located in school buildings.

“Beyond May we cannot go. So that leaves us with only April-May,” he went on. “Parliament has got (life) till May 30 but since there are three other states that are going to polls — Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Sikkim — it will be a close tie,” Quraishi said.

The Sikkim elections, due by May 22, was the chief factor in deciding the cut off date.

“We cannot have general elections in Sikkim on May 15 or 20 and ask the Sikkimese to come for state elections earlier. Therefore May 22 is our due date.

“Working backwards … we may start on the 8th or 10th of April and finish on the 15th-18th of May,” said Quraishi, who was on his way back from Stockholm where he attended a meeting at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).

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