Jun 03, 2009 at 08:50pm IST

Election Commission split over dates of polls

New Delhi: The suspense over when the next general elections will be held will be over by the weekend.

After holding meetings with the Defence Secretary and the Home Secretary, the commission is likely to announce the poll schedule in the next five days.

But the dates will not be declared before going through its usual tug of war over decisions.

CNN-IBN has learnt that the polls are likely to be held around April 10 and will be conducted in five phases.

There are differences within the commission on the date of the first phase.

The outgoing CEC Gopalaswamy wants to conduct at least one phase before he retires on the 20th April.

His successor, the current Election Commissioner Naveen Chawla is equally keen to organise all the phases under his own captaincy.

It's become second nature for the Election Commission to be a divided house. Given the recent spate of controversies surrounding the Commisison, sources now say that even the decision on the dates for the general elections has fallen prey to a difference of opinion.

While for some parties it doesn't matter who runs the show at the EC.

Prakash Javadekar of BJP said, “For us that (when the elections are held) is not important. They have already consulted all political parties and we hope they will declare the elections on time.”

Others are already preparing to rope in cricketers and film stars as contestants.

Manish Tiwary of the Congress party said, “Film stars and cricketers are also achievers.”

Whatever dates the commission chooses, it will find it tough to control the criticism that’s bound to be launched by either of the two sides.

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