NEW DELHI : Chief election commissioner Sunil Arora on Sunday announced the schedule of the general elections, officially putting in place the model code of conduct with immediate effect.

Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases with polling in the first phase on 11 April and the last phase on 19 May. Results for all phases will be announced on 23 May.

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The model code of conduct, which ensures a level playing field between political parties during elections, will be in place till the entire election schedule ends and results are announced. During this time, the guidelines to political parties and candidates ensure that there is ‘no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes’ and corrupt practices are avoided.

"Model Code of Conduct for guidance of political parties comes into effect today itself for the entire country… any violation can be dealt with in the strictest manner," CEC Sunil Arora said.

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It also lays down guidelines for political parties and candidates to be followed during the poll schedule, while holding meetings, processions and conduct at polling booths. It imposes guidelines on the party in power and restraints its from combining official visits with electioneering work.

From the time elections are announced by the Election Commission, ministers and other authorities shall not announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof, lay foundation stones etc. of projects or schemes of any kind, make any promise of construction of roads, provision of drinking water facilities etc or make any appointments in government and public undertakings which may have the effect of influencing voters in favour of the party in power. 

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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