Lok Sabha polls from April 7, vote count May 16

Lok Sabha polls from April 7, vote count May 16

Lok Sabha polls from April 7, vote count May 16

Lok Sabha elections will be held from April 7 to May 12 spread over nine days in the highest number of polling days so far involving an electorate of 81.4 crore, the Election Commission announced today.

Counting of votes in all the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies will be held on a single day on May 16, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath announced at a press conference flanked by ECs H S Brahma and S N A Zaidi.

Assembly elections will also be held simultaneously in the states of Andhra Pradesh, including Telangana region, Odisha and Sikkim.

Sampath was at pains to clarify that it is not a nine-phased polling and the whole exercise will be over in 72 days, three days less than the last elections.

The Model Code of Conduct for parties and governments comes into force with immediate effect, he said.

The first polling day on April 7 will cover six Lok Sabha constituencies in two states, while the second on April 9 will cover seven constituencies in five states.

92 constituencies will go to polls in 14 states on the third day on April 10, while a small number of five constituencies in three states will be covered on the fourth day on April 12.

The largest chunk of 122 Lok Sabha seats will go to polls in 13 states on April 17, the fifth day of poll, while the sixth day will witness polling in 117 seats in 12 states on April 24.

The seventh day of polling on April 30 will choose representatives in 89 constituencies spread over nine states and the eighth day on May 7 will cover 64 seats in seven states.

Polling will conclude on the ninth day on May 12 with elections in 41 constituencies in three states.

Andhra Pradesh, which has 42 Lok Sabha seats, will go to polls on April 30 and May 7. Elections in the respective assembly segments will be held simultaneously.

The first day of polling on April 30 will cover 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 Assembly seats in the Telangana region and the second on May 7 will cover 25 Lok Sabha seats and 175 Assembly seats in the Seemandhra region.

Sampath explained that irrespective of the appointed day for the creation of the new state of Telangana, elections will be held in the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies as they exist today.

The corresponding Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies would go to the respective states once the bifurcation process of the state is complete.

Arunachal Pradesh will have single day polling on April 9 to cover two constituencies, while Assam with 14 Lok Sabha seats will have a three-day poll on April 7, 12 and 24.

Battlestate of Bihar with 40 constituencies will have polling on six days beginning April 10, 17, 24, 30 and May 7 and 12.

Naxal-hit state of Chhattisgarh will witness a three-day poll on April 10, 17 and 24 to elect 11 MPs, while the small state of Goa with two constituencies will have a single day polling on April 17.

Gujarat (26 seats), Haryana (10) and Himachal Pradesh (4) will have a single day polling on April 30, April 10 and May 7 respectively. Kerala (20) and Karnataka (28) will also have a single day polling on April 10 and 17 respectively.

Jammu and Kashmir with six Lok Sabha seats will witness polling on five days on April 10, 17, 24, 30 and May 7, while Jharkhand with 14 seats will go to polls on three days - April 10, 17 and 24.

29 seats in Madhya Pradesh and 48 seats in Maharashtra will go to polls on three days - April 10, 17 and 24.

Two seats in Manipur will go to polls on April 9 and 17 while its neighbours Meghalaya (2), Mizoram (1) and Nagaland (1) will go to polls on a single day on April 9.

Odisha (21 LS seats) will have a two day polling on April 10 and 17 to elect 10 and 11 constituencies respectively. On the same days, assembly elections will be held on 70 and 77 assembly segments respectively.

Punjab will have a single-day polling on April 30 to elect 13 MPs, while Tamil Nadu (39 seats) and Puducherry (1) and will go to polls on April 24. Uttarakhand (5) will go to polls on May 7.

Voters in Rajasthan with 25 seats will exercise their franchise on April 17 and 24 to elect 20 on the first day and 5 MPs on the other day.

Sikkim's lone Lok Sabha seat will go to polls on April 12 while simultaneously electing its 32-member Assembly.

Tripura with two seats will witness a two-day poll on April 7 and 12 while heartland Uttar Pradesh will choose 80 MPs on six days on April 10, 17, 24, 30 and May 7 and 12.

West Bengal will go to polls on five days to elect 42 MPs on April 17, 24, 30, May 7 and 12.

NCT of Delhi with seven seats will have a single day poll on April 10. Likewise the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh and Lakshadweep will choose their lone representatives on April 10, while Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu will elect their sole representatives on April 30.

The total electorate in the country as per final published E-rolls with January 1, 2014 as the cut-off date is about 81.45 crore compared to 71.3 crore in 2009, an increase of more than 10 crore electors.

Over 2.3 crore new electors in this age group of 18 to 19 years, constituting 2.88 per cent of total electors have been added. The last election had seen an increase of 0.75 per cent in this age group.

The number of electors enrolled as "Others" gender that comprising transgenders is 28,314. There are also 11,844 overseas electors in the current electoral rolls and another 13,28,621 service electors.

The Chief Election Commissioner appealed to the political parties and candidates to uphold the peerless democratic traditions of the nation by maintaining high standards of political discourse and fairplay in their election campaign.

Reassuring the nation of its commitment to hold free, fair and credible elections, Sampath exhorted the 1.1 crore election officials to rededicate themselves to the tasks associated with the conduct of elections as a sacred duty.

He also called upon all voters to reinforce the democratic ethos of the nation by turning up at polling stations and exercising their right to vote in an informed and ethical manner.

Bye-elections to 23 vacancies in Bihar (2), Gujarat (7), Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram (one each), Uttar Pradesh (4) and West Bengal (6) will be held simultaneously on the dates of Lok Sabha elections in these states.

The Commission also allowed a last chance to all such eligible voters whose names have been deleted from the electoral rolls for some reason.

"The EC has directed that a special camp be organised at all 9.30 lakh polling stations on March 9 for this purpose," Sampath said.

The electoral rolls are ready after being updated with January one this year as the cut-off date and will be put up at polling booths for a final check by voters.

The EC will use EVMs for the Lok Sabha elections and a total of over 17 lakh EVMs will be deployed during the polls.

For the first time in parliamentary polls, a system of paper trail for electronic voting will be introduced in some constituencies on a trial basis and the Commission is in the process of procuring 20,000 EVMs which will be deployed for this purpose.

The EC is also introducing a system of optional e-filing of affidavits by candidates to ensure that no omission is made out. A candidate will have to file a hard copy of the affidavit along with the nomination paper.

In case a column is left blank, the Returning Officer will send a notice to the candidate for filing a fresh one, failing which the nomination is liable to be rejected following a Supreme Court directive in this regard.

The Commission has also issued guidelines to political parties asking them to explain the rationale of financing the promises they make in their election manifestos. The guidelines that followed Supreme Court directions in this regard have now been made part of the Model Code.

From the coming elections, candidates in a parliamentary constituency in bigger states can spend up to Rs 70 lakh on their campaign, up from Rs 40 lakh in 2011. In the 2009 elections, it was Rs 25 lakh.

Another first in the Lok Sabha elections will be the introduction of "None of the Above" (NOTA) option in voting, which came into vogue in the assembly elections a few months ago.

A total of 1.1 crore poll personnel, half of them being security forces, will be deployed for the smooth conduct of polls and to ensure that they are free and fair.

A database of the civilian staff to be deployed for conducting polls has been prepared and at least 5.5 million civilian staff would be deployed.

The list of central government employees to be deployed for poll duty as micro-observers in sensitive polling stations has also been prepared.