EC announces Lok Sabha polls from April 11
jkupdate.com | 10-Mar-2019 09:53 PM
  • Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora at a press conference.

NEW DELHI:The Lok Sabha elections will be spread across seven phases, beginning from April 11, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora announced on Sunday. The polls will conclude on May 19 and results will be declared four days later on May 23, he said.

Addressing a press briefing at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi, CEC Arora said: “The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) comes into effect from today itself in the entire country. Any violation will be dealt with in the strictest manner.”

Elections will also be simultaneously held for the state assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Contrary to expectations, no elections will be held in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been without an elected government since June last year when BJP pulled out of its alliance with the PDP.

While Bihar, UP and West Bengal will go to polls in seven phases, elections in J&K will be held in five phases. Four phase elections will be held in Jharkhand, MP, Maharashtra, Orissa, while Assam and Chhattisgarh will see three-phase polls. Karnataka, Manipur, Rajasthan & Tripura will have elections in two phases. Remaining states will have single phase elections.

The announcement of the poll dates sets in motion a highly-anticipated political contest between PM Modi and the Opposition. The Pulwama attack and IAF air strikes on terror camps in Balakot have added a new dimension to the polls, with the EC asking parties to desist from making references to the armed forces in their political campaign.

Arora said 10 lakh polling stations would be set up this time as against about nine lakh in 2014. Nearly 90 crore voters will be eligible to vote for 543 Lok Sabha constituencies across the country.

Further, the Election Commission said the ‘voter-verifiable paper audit trail’ (VVPAT) will be used in all polling stations this time. In the first phase, 91 constituencies will to go for polls, 97 constituencies in the second phase, 115 constituencies in the third, 71 in the fourth phase, 51 in the fifth phase, 59 in sixth and 59 in the seventh phase.

“We have tried to cover left-wing affected areas of various states at one go. Once the left-wing affected states get covered, which require much more force, then that security personnel can move to other areas,” Arora said.

Date of polling: April 11 (first phase), April 18 (second phase), April 23 (third phase), April 29 (fourth phase), May 6 (fifth phase), May 12 (sixth phase), May 19 (seventh phase)

Date of counting: May 23

Phase 1 (April 11): Andhra Pradesh (25 constituencies), Arunachal Pradesh (2), Assam (5), Bihar (4), Chhattisgarh (1), J&K (2), Maharashtra (7), Manipur (1), Meghalaya (2), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Odisha (4), Sikkim (1), Telangana (17), Tripura (1), UP (8), Uttarakhand (5), West Bengal (2), Andaman & Nicobar (1), Lakshadweep (1)

Phase 2 (April 18): Assam (5), Bihar (5), Chhattisgarh (3), J&K (2), Karnataka (14), Maharashtra (10), Manipur (1), Odisha (5), Tamil Nadu (39), Tripura (1), UP (8), West Bengal (3), Puducherry (1)

Phase 3 (April 23): Assam (4), Bihar (5), Chhattisgarh (7), Gujarat (26), Goa (2), J&K (1), Karnataka (14), Kerala (20), Maharashtra (14), Odisha (6), UP (10), West Bengal (5), Dadar and Nagar Haveli (1), Daman and Diu (1)

Phase 4 (April 29): Bihar (5), J&K (1), Jharkhand (3), MP (6), Maharshtra (17), Odisha (6), Rajasthan (13), UP (13), Bengal (8)

Phase 5 (May 6): Bihar (1), J&K (2), Jharkhand (4), MP (7), Rajasthan (12), UP (14), Bengal (7)

Phase 6 (May 12): Bihar (8), Haryana (10), Jharkhand (4), MP (8), UP (14), Bengal (8), Delhi (7)

Phase 7 (May 19): Bihar (8), Jharkhand (3), MP (8), Punjab (13), Bengal (9), Chandigarh (1), UP (13), Himachal Pradesh (4)

In 2014, BJP bagged majority on its own by winning 282 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha. The NDA won 336 seats. The majority mark is 272 seats. The opposition Congress won 44 seats. After Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Modi is the second non-Congress Prime Minister to finish a term in office.

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