`Prez poll schedule to be announced shortly`

The Presidential election schedule is likely to be announced in a day or two by the Election Commission.

New Delhi: The Presidential election schedule is likely to be announced in a day or two by the Election Commission.

VS Sampath, who took over as the new Chief Election Commissioner today, said the announcement would be made shortly.

"All preparatory works are in full swing and an announcement regarding the election schedule is due shortly," he said. Asked as to when the schedule will be announced, he said let there be some suspense.

Sources in the Commission indicated that the notification could be out in a day or so. The notification for the last Presidential election was issued on June 13. President Pratibha Patil`s term ends on July 24.

Sampath said the immediate task at hand for him was the conduct of elections to the offices of the President and Vice President of India.

He 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 Commission will start visiting these states soon," he said.

The process for Presidential poll will be set in motion soon after the Commission issues its notification on it.

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.


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