The Election Commission of India announced the election schedule for the entire country on Sunday.
The polling will be held on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19 for 543 Lok Sabha seats across the country in which almost 90 crore voters would be eligible to vote, the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said at a packed press conference here. The elections to the world's largest democracy will be held for 543 seats on almost 10 lakh polling booths across the country, with around 90 crore voters ready to exercise the franchise. Counting will be held on May 23.
With the announcement of poll dates, the State government has been notified to strictly implement the model code of conduct with immediate effect.
Two seats each will go to polls in the first two phases, in the third phase there will be one seat and in fourth one seat and in the fifth phase there will be two seats. However, elections for the Jammu and Kashmir assembly, which was dissolved after the ruling coalition between the BJP and the PDP fell apart, will not be held along with the Lok Sabha polls. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora stated, "The I-T department will look into it and, if any, discrepancies are found then it will be uploaded on the Election Commission (EC) website and strict action will be initiated". "Remember this the next time you are praising PM Modi for his strong leadership", he tweeted.
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Abdullah questioned Home Minister Rajnath Singh's statement in Parliament earlier this year about the Centre's readiness to hold Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir along with the General Elections.
In 2004, the Commission had announced four-phase Lok Sabha polls on February 29.
"The seven-phase election reflects the law and order situation in the state. how people were stopped from exercising their democratic rights", CPM politburo member Mohammed Salim said, referring to the violence that took place during the panchayat polls in the state previous year. While the first date of polling was April 20, the last date was May 10. The dates are April 11, April 18, April 23 and April 29.