Millennium Post (Kolkata)

LS polls from April 19 in 7 phases



Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases, beginning April 19 and ending on June 1. Counting of votes for all elections, including by-elections, Assembly elections in four states and general elections will take place on June 4, the Election Commission of India announced on Saturday.

Other phases of polling will be held on April 26, May 7, 13, 20 and 25, Chief Election Commission­er Rajiv Kumar said at a press conference here. The world’s biggest exercise will witness an electoral battle stretching to a period of nearly two months. The term of the current government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is ending on June 16 and under his leadership the ruling BJP is seeking a third consecutiv­e term in office.

The CEC said there are 96.8 crore people who are eligible to cast their votes in the upcoming polls of which nearly 47.1 crore are women voters. As compared to 2019, the number of registered voters is up by six per cent from 91.2 crore.

Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will be held on April 19, and in Andhra Pradesh on May 13. Elections to Odisha Assembly will be held in four phases on May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1.

Bypolls will also be held for 26 Assembly constituen­cies, the CEC said at a press conference flanked by two newly appointed Election Commission­ers Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu.

Three states — Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh — will have polling spread over all the seven phases.

In the first phase on April 19, voting will take place in 102 constituen­cies spread over

21 states/UTs, with 10 states/ UTs completing the poll process in this phase.

Voting will take place in 89 constituen­cies across 13 states/ UTs in the second phase on April 26, Kumar said, adding that the poll process would be completed in four more states/UTs.

Third phase of polling on May 7 will take place in 94 constituen­cies spread across 12 states/UTs. With this, polling will be completed in six more states/UTs.

In the fourth phase on May 13, as many as 96 constituen­cies spread across 10 states UTs would vote. With this, three more states/UTs would have completed voting.

In the fifth phase on May 20, as many as 49 constituen­cies spread across eight states/ UTs will vote. This phase will see voting completed in three more states/UTs.

In the sixth phase on May 25, voting will take place in 57 constituen­cies spread across seven states/UTs. Polling in two more states/UTs would be completed with this phase.

The seventh and final phase will take place on June 1 in 57 constituen­cies spread across eight states/UTs, completing the polling process in eight states/UTs.

Led by Prime Minister Modi, a buoyed BJP, which swept the November Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisga­rh, will take on the opposition parties which have been trying to put up a joint front under the umbrella of the INDIA bloc, with limited success confined to some states.

The CEC said the Commission is fully prepared to counter the challenges of four M’s muscle power, money power, misinforma­tion and Model Code of Conduct violations.

“I would appeal to parties to maintain decorum during the campaign

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