The “tentative” date for Lok Sabha elections in Delhi found its way to social media on Tuesday. The communication held on Jan 19 in the office of the chief electoral officer (CEO) of Delhi to 11 district election officers in the capital mentioning that Election Commission of India (ECI) has given April 16 as the tentative date. As excitement rose about the likely schedule of the looming contest, the poll watchdog hastily issued a “nothing-has-been-finalised-yet” clarification.
The CEO’s office, in its statement, stressed that the date was mentioned only for “reference” for district officials to plan their activities according to ECI’s “election planner”. It pointed out that a tentative poll date is given by ECI for calculating the start and end dates in the election planner in which various activities in the build-up to the elections are given along with timelines and duration for each of them.
‘Poll dates likely to be out in Feb-end or early March’. Only in this instance, the “leak” and the vitality it acquired on social media platforms elevated a bland communication about what has been a routine drill for decades to something special. The statement clarified that April 16 mentioned as the tentative polling day in the communication had no bearing on the actual schedule of the elections, which the ECI would announce “at an appropriate time”.
“Polling will be conducted in many phases and may start in the first week of April. By mentioning April 16 as the tentative poll day, the ECI has given an indication that elections in Delhi may take place in the second or third phase,” the official said.
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