Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora today announced schedule for 2019 Lok Sabha elections. This time elections will be held in seven phases, as against nine phases in 2014. The first phase of polls starts on April 11 and the counting of votes will be taken up on May 23 for all phases.
This time there will be 10 lakh polling stations all over the country, more than one lakh than 2014. The total number of voters are now 90 crore. Due to constraints in number of security forces and recent violent incidents in Jammu and Kashmir, there will be no assembly elections in the state. EC has appointed three special observers for the state.
Four states, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, will also vote for new provincial governments, besides by polls to all vacant assembly seats also will be held along with Lok Sabha polls.
“While finalizing the election dates, exam schedules of state examination boards, CBSE, various festivals including festivals which have religious, harvest season in other department are also adequately factored in,” said Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora at a media conference.
The announcement of the poll schedule kicks in the ground rules for the contest, called the model code of conduct designed to create a level-playing field for opposition parties.
The code prohibits governments from making any announcement that could influence the voters and gives the poll panel, the power to transfer any official associated with the election process across India.