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EC to hold discussion with Union Home Secretary

February 23, 2009 20:56 IST
The Election Commission will have discussions with Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta on Tuesday, amid indications that the Lok Sabha poll schedule may be announced by the first week of March.
    
The three-member Commission will hold discussions with the Home Secretary on the law and order situation across the
country and availability of Central paramilitary forces to decide on the number of phases. Assembly polls in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Sikkim will also be held along with the Lok Sabha polls.
    
The Commission will also hold discussions with Defence Secretary Vijay Singh, EC sources said.
    
Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami and two other Election Commissioners -- Navin Chawla and S Y Quraishi -- met Telecom Secretary Siddartha Behura  on Monday to augment communication network, a crucial input for better election management.
    
After the meeting, the EC directed the Chief Electoral Officers of all states and union territories to discuss with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited authorities and other service providers the network  availability and identify the communication "shadow areas".
    
The Commission also directed the Department of Telecommunications to put the pending communication expansion
plans on fast track in order to strengthen the network ahead of the elections, the sources said.
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