17th Lok Sabha : Elections 2019
Simultaneous Assembly elections to be held in four States, Voting in seven phases in U.P., Bihar and West Bengal, 17.4 lakh VVPAT units to be used in all polling stations
Elections to the 17th Lok Sabha will be conducted in seven phases across the country from April 11 to May 19. The counting of votes will be on May 23, the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora announced on Sunday.
The Model Code of Conduct came into effect immediately on the announcement of the schedule, with the Election Commission introducing fresh measures to enhance the integrity of the electoral process and raise the accountability of campaigners. Addressing the media, Mr. Arora said voting across the country would be held on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19.
The Assembly election in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha will be conducted simultaneously with the Lok Sabha election. However, the EC is yet to take a call on the Assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir owing to the security scenario.
The election in 22 States and Union Territories will be conducted in a single phase. Two-phase elections are in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Manipur and Tripura, while Assam and Chhattisgarh will have three phases. Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha will be covered in four phases, Jammu and Kashmir in five, and Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal in seven phases. In Anantnag, the election will he held in three rounds.
The CEC said 91 constituencies would go to the polls in the first phase, 97 in the second phase, 115 in the third phase, 71 in the fourth, 51 in the fifth, and 59 each in the sixth and seventh phases.
As on January 1, about 900 million people were eligible to vote, as per the electoral rolls, compared with 814.5 million in 2014. Among them are a sizable number of those born at the turn of the millennium. Over 15 million fall in the 18-19 years age group. While 71,735 overseas electors have been enrolled, more than 16.77 lakh are service electors.
Mr. Arora said there would be more than 10.35 lakh polling stations, 10% higher than in 2014. The Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines, a total of 17.4 lakh units, will be used for the first time at all stations. He said the standard operating procedure for the security of EVMs and VVPATs had been revised to ensure that their end-to-end movement was monitored through the GPS-fitted transport vehicles.