Lok Sabha elections from April 11 in 7 phases, counting on May 23

March 10, 2019
NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha elections will be held from April 11 in seven phases and the counting will take place on May 23, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora announced here on Sunday, marking the beginning of a massive electoral process in the country.

The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly election will not be held now. But, election in four other States where it is due will be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls.

The seven phases of polling are on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12, May 19. In the first phase, 91 constituencies will to go to the polls, 97 constituencies in the second phase, 115 constituencies in the third, 71 in the fourth, 51 in the fifth phase, 59 in the sixth and 59 in the seventh phase.

There will be 10 lakh polling stations this time as against about nine lakh in 2014. The electronic voting machines and paper trail machines have been made ready. VVPATS will be used in all booths. The voters can choose NOTA, and also be able to see candidates' photos.

The Assembly elections will be held in the States of Arunachal Pradesh (60 seats), Sikkim (32 seats), Odisha (147 seats) and Andhra Pradesh (175 seats).

The Chief Election Commissoner was addressing the media at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. Arora said all political advertisements on social media will need pre-certification.

With the announcement of elections, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force, bringing the Government as well as the contesting political parties under a regime of controls.

The current term of the Lok Sabha ends on June 3. For the 2014 elections, the notification was issued on March 5 and the polling process was finished by May 16 and new members were sworn on June 4.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had got 282 of the 543 seats. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the BJP won 336 seats. The Congress got only 44 seats.

Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra also attended the press conference at Vigyan Bhavan.

Notice was issued after billboards featuring BJP leaders along with Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman came up in parts of Delhi. The CEC had earlier asked political parties to not use photographs of defence personnel on hoardings or posters.

The Congress and other Opposition parties had expressed concern over delay in Election Commission announcement of polls.

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