Lok Sabha elections will be held from April 7 to May 12 spread over nine days in the highest number of polling days so far involving an electorate of 81.4 crore, the Election Commission announced today.
Counting of votes in all the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies will be held on a single day on May 16, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath announced at a press conference flanked by ECs H S Brahma and S N A Zaidi.
Assembly elections will also be held simultaneously in the states of Andhra Pradesh, including Telangana region, Odisha and Sikkim.
Sampath was at pains to clarify that it is not a nine-phased polling and the whole exercise will be over in 72 days, three days less than the last elections.
The Model Code of Conduct for parties and governments comes into force with immediate effect, he said.
The first polling day on April 7 will cover six Lok Sabha constituencies in two states, while the second on April 9 will cover seven constituencies in five states.
92 constituencies will go to polls in 14 states on the third day on April 10, while a small number of five constituencies in three states will be covered on the fourth day on April 12.
The largest chunk of 122 Lok Sabha seats will go to polls in 13 states on April 17, the fifth day of poll, while the sixth day will witness polling in 117 seats in 12 states on April 24.
The seventh day of polling on April 30 will choose representatives in 89 constituencies spread over nine states and the eighth day on May 7 will cover 64 seats in seven states.
Polling will conclude on the ninth day on May 12 with elections in 41 constituencies in three states.
Andhra Pradesh, which has 42 Lok Sabha seats, will go to polls on April 30 and May 7. Elections in the respective assembly segments will be held simultaneously.
The first day of polling on April 30 will cover 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 Assembly seats in the Telangana region and the second on May 7 will cover 25 Lok Sabha seats and 175 Assembly seats in the Seemandhra region.
Sampath explained that irrespective of the appointed day for the creation of the new state of Telangana, elections will be held in the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies as they exist today.
The corresponding Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies would go to the respective states once the bifurcation process of the state is complete.
Arunachal Pradesh will have single day polling on April 9 to cover two constituencies, while Assam with 14 Lok Sabha seats will have a three-day poll on April 7, 12 and 24.
Battlestate of Bihar with 40 constituencies will have polling on six days beginning April 10, 17, 24, 30 and May 7 and 12.
Naxal-hit state of Chhattisgarh will witness a three-day poll on April 10, 17 and 24 to elect 11 MPs, while the small state of Goa with two constituencies will have a single day polling on April 17.
Gujarat (26 seats), Haryana (10) and Himachal Pradesh (4) will have a single day polling on April 30, April 10 and May 7 respectively. Kerala (20) and Karnataka (28) will also have a single day polling on April 10 and 17 respectively.
Jammu and Kashmir with six Lok Sabha seats will witness polling on five days on April 10, 17, 24, 30 and May 7, while Jharkhand with 14 seats will go to polls on three days - April 10, 17 and 24.
29 seats in Madhya Pradesh and 48 seats in Maharashtra will go to polls on three days - April 10, 17 and 24.
Two seats in Manipur will go to polls on April 9 and 17 while its neighbours Meghalaya (2), Mizoram (1) and Nagaland (1) will go to polls on a single day on April 9.
Odisha (21 LS seats) will have a two day polling on April 10 and 17 to elect 10 and 11 constituencies respectively. On the same days, assembly elections will be held on 70 and 77 assembly segments respectively.
Punjab will have a single-day polling on April 30 to elect 13 MPs, while Tamil Nadu (39 seats) and Puducherry (1) and will go to polls on April 24. Uttarakhand (5) will go to polls on May 7.
Voters in Rajasthan with 25 seats will exercise their franchise on April 17 and 24 to elect 20 on the first day and 5 MPs on the other day.
Sikkim's lone Lok Sabha seat will go to polls on April 12 while simultaneously electing its 32-member Assembly.
Tripura with two seats will witness a two-day poll on April 7 and 12 while heartland Uttar Pradesh will choose 80 MPs on six days on April 10, 17, 24, 30 and May 7 and 12.
West Bengal will go to polls on five days to elect 42 MPs on April 17, 24, 30, May 7 and 12.
NCT of Delhi with seven seats will have a single day poll on April 10. Likewise the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh and Lakshadweep will choose their lone representatives on April 10, while Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu will elect their sole representatives on April 30.
The total electorate in the country as per final published E-rolls with January 1, 2014 as the cut-off date is about 81.45 crore compared to 71.3 crore in 2009, an increase of more than 10 crore electors.
Over 2.3 crore new electors in this age group of 18 to 19 years, constituting 2.88 per cent of total electors have been added. The last election had seen an increase of 0.75 per cent in this age group.
The number of electors enrolled as "Others" gender that comprising transgenders is 28,314. There are also 11,844 overseas electors in the current electoral rolls and another 13,28,621 service electors.
The Chief Election Commissioner appealed to the political parties and candidates to uphold the peerless democratic traditions of the nation by maintaining high standards of political discourse and fairplay in their election campaign.
Reassuring the nation of its commitment to hold free, fair and credible elections, Sampath exhorted the 1.1 crore election officials to rededicate themselves to the tasks associated with the conduct of elections as a sacred duty.
He also called upon all voters to reinforce the democratic ethos of the nation by turning up at polling stations and exercising their right to vote in an informed and ethical manner.
Bye-elections to 23 vacancies in Bihar (2), Gujarat (7), Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram (one each), Uttar Pradesh (4) and West Bengal (6) will be held simultaneously on the dates of Lok Sabha elections in these states.
Here are the highlights of 2014 Lok Sabha election schedule:
* Last date of poll on May 12 covering three states and 41 constituencies
* Eighth day of poll on May 7 in seven states covering 64 constituencies
* Seventh day of poll on April 30 in 89 constituencies in nine states
* Sixth day of poll on April 24 covering 117 constituencies in 12 states
* Fifth day of poll on April 17 in 13 states and UTs covering 122 constituencies
* Fourth day of poll on April 12 to cover three states and five constituencies
* Third phase on April 10 to cover 92 constituencies in 14 states
* Second phase of poll on April 9 to cover seven constituencies in five states
* First phase of polling to cover six constituencies in two states: CEC
* Poll Dates:
1st Day of Poll is 7th April
2ndDay of Poll is 9th April
3rd Day of Poll 10th April
4th Day of Poll 12thApril
5th Day of Poll -17th April
6th Day of Poll -24th April
7th Day of Poll- 30th April
8th Day of Poll -7th May
9th Day of Poll-12th May
* In all, elections will be held in nine phases up to May 12, says CEC
* Counting of votes will be held on May 16: CEC
# People living in vulnerable areas will be given adequate protection to exercise their vote: CEC.
# Different observers will be deployed across country for the polls: Election Commission.
# V S Sampath says model code of conduct comes into force with immediate effect.
# NOTA facility will be given in 2014 general elections: CEC
# There are nine lakh 30 thousand polling stations, which is 12 per cent more than the polling stations in 2009 elections: CEC.
# On March 9, Sunday, voters can get themselves enrolled across country. On this day officers will verify electoral rolls and allow applications: CEC.
# Another opportunity will be given for voters to enroll before elections: V S Sampath.
# The total electorate is 814 million, 10 crores more than the last Parliament election: EC.