The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting announced on Wednesday that the 66th National Film Awards will be declared after the Lok Sabha elections since the Model Code of Conduct is in place. The awards are usually declared in the month of April every year.

The ministry said the selections for the National Film Awards are made by an independent and impartial jury which consists of filmmakers and film personalities. The awards also include one for the “most film-friendly state”, it added.

The Model Code of Conduct has been in force since March 10.

“Since the Model Code of Conduct [MCC] is in force, which facilitates level playing field to all political parties and the candidates and inter alia seeks to ensure that the power of media is not used in such a manner which affects the general conduct and level playing field during the election process, it has been decided to declare the awards after the election process is over and the MCC concludes,” the ministry said in a statement.

Elections to the 17th Lok Sabha and four Legislative Assemblies are under way and will conclude on May 19. The results of the elections will be announced on May 23.

During the 2014 General Elections, the 61st National Film Awards were announced as per schedule on April 16, 2014 and were presented on May 3, 2014 during the election period, reported The Hindu.