The largest festival of democracy in the world will begin from 11th of next month when India goes to polls to elect the 17th Lok Sabha of the country. Ninety crore electorates of 29 states and 7 Union territories will elect 543 Lok Sabha members in seven phases from 11th April to 19th May.
Simultaneously, Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh will also take place. The Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the entire country with the announcement of the polls.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora announced the poll schedule in New Delhi last evening. He said the counting will be held on the 23rd of May. Twenty-two states and Union Territories will have single phase elections, while 4 states will go to polls in two phases.
States undergoing three phases are Assam and Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand while Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha will have four phase polling. Jammu and Kashmir will have five phases and West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh will have seven phases.
In the first phase, 91 Parliamentary constituencies in 20 states and in the 2nd phase 97 Parliamentary constituencies in 13 states will go to polls. 115 constituencies in 14 states will go to polls in the third phase while 71 constituencies in 9 states will go to polls in 4th phase.
In the 5th phase, 51 constituencies in seven states and in the sixth phase 59 seats in 7 states will go to polls. In the last phase, 59 constituencies in 8 states will go to polls.
Chief Election Commissioner said assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir will not be held with the Lok Sabha elections. Election Commission has decided to appoint three special observers for effective monitoring of Lok Sabha polls in Jammu and Kashmir. Chief Election Commissioner said extensive preparations have been made for the polls.