Twenty-two states and union territories (UTs), including Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, will have Lok Sabha election in a single phase while it will be spread across seven phases in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, the Election Commission announced Sunday. Karnataka, Manipur, Rajasthan and Tripura will have election in two phases, while Assam and Chhattisgarh will have three-phase polling. Four states — Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha — will have elections in four phases. Jammu and Kashmir, where the poll panel decided not to have assembly elections simultaneously with LS polls, will have five-phase voting. There is no state where elections will be conducted in six phases.
Addressing a press conference here, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said the poll panel has decided to take up polling in Left Wing Extremism-affected states in one go. “Every thing depends on movement of security forces. Phases have been accordingly decided,” he said when asked as to why Odisha was having four phases instead of one. During phase one of poll on April 11, elections will be held in 91 constituencies spread across 20 states.
Also read| Seven-phase Lok Sabha elections to begin on April 11, results on May 23
In phase two, polling will be held on April 18 in 97 seats spread across 13 states. On April 23 when polls are held in phase three, voters in 115 constituencies in 14 states will exercise their franchise. In phase four, 71 seats in nine states will go for voting on April 29.
In phase five, six and seven to be held on May 6, May 12 and May 19 respectively, 51 seats in seven states, 59 seats also in seven states, and another 59 seats in eight states will go for polling. Since many on social media questioned why the Election Commission schedule talks of eight seats in J&K even though it has six, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa clarified on Twitter that because Anantnag constituency is included in three phases.