Being extra cautious of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) which is in force as the seven-phased Lok Sabha polls are underway, the Information & Broadcasting Ministry said Wednesday informed that the 66th National Film Awards will be declared after the elections are over.

The development comes as the awards also include one for the “most film-friendly state”.

The I&B Ministry said the awards will be declared after the Lok Sabha elections when the poll code seizes to be in force to ensure that the power of the media is not used in a manner which affects the level playing field during the election process.

The selections for the National Film Awards are made by an independent and impartial jury consisting of eminent filmmakers and film personalities and declared in the month of April every year, the ministry said.

However, in 2014, the original schedule was followed and the awards were declared in early May well before the conclusion of the election process.

For the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the model code of conduct came into force on March 10 when the Election Commission announced the dates and remains in force till the end of the electoral process.

The results for the polls will be announced on May 23.

(With PTI inputs)