Prez poll schedule to be announced shortly: CEC Sampath

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Rastrapati Bhavan
New Delhi, Jun 11: The announcement on Presidential election schedule is due shortly, new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) VS Sampath said on Monday. "All preparatory works are in full swing and an announcement regarding the election schedule is due shortly," he said soon after assuming charge as the CEC. However, when asked about the probable date of announcing the election schedule, he said let there be some suspense. Kamath, nevertheless, added that his immediate task was the conduct of elections to the offices of the President and Vice President of India.

Sampath said that an orientation workshop for the returning officer, assistant returning officers and presiding officers for the Presidential poll was held last month. The CEC also said that the Commission is already engaged in preparation for the forthcoming elections in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya, and systemic training of personnel to be engaged in these assembly polls has already commenced. "Work relating to electoral rolls revision and polling station rationalisation has already been taken up. The Election Commission will start visiting these states soon," he said.

The process for the presidential poll will be set in motion soon after the Commission issues its notification in this regard. President Pratibha Patil's term ends on Jul 24 and the EC notification with regard to the election is likely to be issued this week itself. The notification for the last presidential election was issued on Jun 13. The EC has already started work on the checklist of 41 tasks for the presidential election, officials said. The ruling Congress and the opposition BJP have so far remained silent on the candidature issue, while NCP leader and former Speaker PA Sangma has already jumped into the race. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is considered as being among the frontrunners for the post.

PTI

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