LS polls in 7 phases from April 11; counting on May 23

LS polls in 7 phases from April 11; counting on May 23

 Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora. PTI

India will vote in seven phases between April 11 and May 19 to elect its 17th Lok Sabha and its new government. The votes will be counted on May 23.

The Election Commission on Sunday announced the schedule of the Lok Sabha elections — the largest democratic exercise in the world, with nearly 90 crore people eligible to vote in over 10 lakh polling stations to elect 543 members of the Lower House of the country’s Parliament.

“Elections to the world’s largest democracy pose immense challenges,” Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said, as he, along with election commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra, announced the schedule at a press conference at Vigyan Bhavan.

The Model Code of Conduct came into force across the country immediately after the poll panel announced the schedule.

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Assembly polls in 4 states with LS polls but not in J&K

This is going to be the first Lok Sabha election in which the Election Commission will deploy Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) devices along with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) at all polling stations across the country, said the chief election commissioner.

The Lok Sabha elections will see Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies in seeking a renewed mandate to remain in power for another term of five years.

The Congress, led by Rahul Gandhi, is the principal challenger to the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Assembly polls in 4 states, not in J&K

The state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh will take place simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls. The polling for Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh (175 constituencies), Sikkim (32) and Arunachal Pradesh (60) will be held in a single phase on April 11. The polling for the 147 seats in Odisha will be held in four phases — April 11, 18, 23 and 29.

The EC will not hold Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir along with Lok Sabha elections. The Jammu and Kashmir legislative Assembly was dissolved in November, five months after the BJP-PDP coalition government collapsed. The state is currently under President's Rule. The CEC said the poll panel decided against holding Assembly polls in J&K along with parliamentary elections in view of the prevailing security situation in the state.


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