Capable of holding LS polls, 4 state assembly elections together in Dec: CEC

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NEW DELHI: The Election Commission was capable of holding the Lok Sabha elections and polls to four state assemblies together in December if the parliamentary elections are advanced, Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat said today.
His comments came when asked whether the EC was ready if the LS elections are held in December along with Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Rajasthan.
“Why not. There would not be any problem,” he told PTI.
There have been speculation in some circles that the Lok Sabha elections, scheduled for April-May 2019 may be advanced to November-December 2018 so that they can be held simultaneously with Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Rajasthan.
While the term of the Mizoram Assembly will end on December 15, the terms of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan assemblies would end on January 5, 2019 January 7 and January 20, 2019, respectively.
Asked whether the required electronic voting machines (EVMs) and paper trail machines would be ready if the LS polls are held in December along with those of four assemblies, the CEC said while all the required EVMs would be in place by September end, paper trail machines would come in November end. The CEC explained that out of 17.5 lakh paper trail machines, 16 lakh would be in place before November.
The remaining 1.5 lakh paper trail or voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines would be delivered by the end of November.
“As you had sought to know, if LS elections are held in December, then the first level check (FLC) of the 1.5 lakh VVPATs (which EC would get in November end) would be difficult. then some critical small gaps would be there,” he said.