Announcing the seven-phase schedule for 2019 Lok Sabha polls beginning April 11, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora also said 10 lakhs polling stations would be set up this time as against about nine lakhs in 2014.
The Election Commission on Sunday announced that the 17th Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases starting April 1, followed by counting of votes on May 23.
With the announcement of polls, the Model Code of Conduct will come into effect from this evening bringing political advertising, campaigning and general conduct of political parties and leaders under the EC's scrutiny. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are going for the elections in the First Phase itself. However, the Assembly got dissolved after the ruling coalition between the Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party fell apart in June previous year.
It invoked security situation against holding the assembly polls while it announced the Lok Sabha polls in five phases in the state. "India is very proud of the EC for assiduously organising elections for several years".
The EVMs and postal papers could carry photographs of contestants in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.
The JK political parties had pitched state and Lok Sabha polls be held simeltaneously before a panel of commission, which visited the state last week. The last date for filing of nominations is March 25. Karnataka, Manipur, Rajasthan & Tripura will have elections in two phases. The Chief Election Commissioner's focus on social media as a tool for polls has generated a widespread discussion. Four phase elections will be held in Jharkhand, MP, Maharashtra, Orissa, while Assam and Chhattisgarh will see three-phase polls.
"What happened to @rajnathsingh's assurance to Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha as well as to the all party meeting recently in Delhi that all forces would be made available for simultaneous polls?", Omar said in one tweet.
In the fourth and final phase (April 29), voting will be held in Nandurbar, Dhule, Dindori, Nashik, Palghar, Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Thane, Mumbai-North, Mumbai North-East, Mumbai North-West, Mumbai North-Central, Mumbai South-Central and Mumbai South, Maval, Shirur and Shirdi.
Compared to 89,479 polling stations in 2014, this year there will be 95,473.