ECI releases schedule for Lok Sabha, Assembly polls in 4 states

The Lok Sabha polls in Telangana and simultaneous polls in AP will take place in phase 4 and the polling will take place on May 13.

The Lok Sabha Elections 2024 are going to be held in 7 phases between April 19 and June 1 and the counting of votes on June 4, chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar announced on Saturday.

The phase 1 polling will be held on April 19, the second phase on April 26, the third phase on May 7, the fourth phase on May 13, 5th phase on May 20, 6th phase on May 25 and the last and the 7th phase on June 1, he informed.

The Lok Sabha polls in Telangana and simultaneous polls in AP will take place in phase 4 and the polling will take place on May 13.

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He also announced the schedule for state Assembly polls in 4 states –Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh along with Assembly Bye elections in 26 constituencies across the country.

Seven phases of Lok Sabha polls

Phase 1 (102 seats): April 19

States going for voting in Phase 1: Arunachal Pradesh- 2, Assam- 5, Bihar- 4, Chhattisgarh-1, Madhya Pradesh-6, Maharashtra-5, Manipur-2, Meghalaya-2, Mizoram-1, Nagaland-1, Rajasthan-12, Sikkim-1, Tamil Nadu-39, Tripura-1, Uttar Pradesh-8, Uttarakhand-5, West Bengal- 3, Andaman and Nicobar Islands-1, Jammu and Kashmir-1, Lakshadweep-1 and Puducherry-1 seat.

Phase 2 (89 seats): April 26

States going for voting in this phase: Assam- 5 Bihar- 5 Chhattisgarh-3 Karnataka- 14 Kerala-20 Madhya Pradesh-7 Maharashtra-8 Manipur-1 Rajasthan-13 Tripura-1 Uttar Pradesh-8 West Bengal-3 and Jammu & Kashmir-1 seat.

Phase 3 (94 seats): May 7

States going for voting in this phase: Assam- 4, Bihar- 5, Chhattisgarh- 7, Goa- 2, Gujarat- 26, Karnataka- 14, Madhya Pradesh-8, Maharashtra- 11, Uttar Pradesh- 10, West Bengal- 4, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu-2 and Jammu & Kashmir- 1 seat.

Telangana, AP in phase 4 (96 seats): May 13

Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha will begin on May 13 and will take place simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls in these states. Telangana will also witness Lok Sabha poll voting on the same date.

States going for voting in the fourth phase: Andhra Pradesh- 25, Bihar-5, Jharkhand-4, Madhya Pradesh-8, Maharashtra- 11, Odisha-4, Telangana-17 Uttar Pradesh: 13 West Bengal-8 and Jammu & Kashmir- 1 seat.

Phase 5 (49 seats): May 20

States going for voting in the 5th phase: Bihar- 5, Jharkhand-3, Maharashtra-13, Odisha-5, Uttar Pradesh-14, West Bengal-7, Jammu & Kashmir-1, and Ladakh- 1.

Phase 6 (57 seats): May 25

States going for voting in this phase: Bihar- 8, Haryana-10, Jharkhand- 4, Odisha-6, Uttar Pradesh-14, West Bengal-8, and NCT of Delhi-7.

Phase 7 (57 seats): June 1

States going for voting in this phase: Bihar-8, Himachal Pradesh-4, Jharkhand-3, Odisha-6, Punjab-13, Uttar Pradesh-13, West Bengal-9 and Chandigarh-1 seat.

Rajiv Kumar asserts EC’s commitment

Before the announcement, CEC Rajiv Kumar said that the EC is committed to “give the nation a truly festive, democratic environment.”

“The term of the 17th Lok Sabha is due to expire on 16th June 2024. The terms of the Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim are also due to expire in June 2024. Elections are due in Jammu and Kashmir…,” he said.

He informed that the country now has 96.8 crore individuals registered as voters and they can vote from 12 lakh voting centres.

“We have 1.8 crore first-time voters and 19.47 crore voters between the age group of 20-29 years…” he added.

55 lakh Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be utilized in the entire process. Individuals over 85 years old and those with disabilities meeting a 40% benchmark can cast their votes from their residences. While the option to vote from home was previously available in certain assembly elections, this marks the first instance of its implementation nationwide during the general election, Rajiv Kumar said.

“They are the eyes and ears of the commission overseeing conduct of inducement and intimidation free elections and level playing field for all,” he remarked.

For the smooth functioning of the process, he said that over 2100 general, police, and expenditure observers are being deployed.

On election expenditure, the CEC said that while candidates for the LS polls can spend up to Rs 90 lakhs, an MLA candidate can spend up to Rs 28 lakhs.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP secured 303 seats, with Congress obtaining 52 seats. The BJP-led NDA is optimistic about the upcoming elections, aiming to secure more than 300 seats.

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