India Goes To The Polls On April 11: All You Need To Know

With 90 crore voters, India officially gears up to conduct elections to the 17th Lok Sabha

The General Elections to the 17th Lok Sabha is to be held in seven phases from the April 11 to May 19, 2019, as announced by the Election Commission (EC). The counting of votes is to be held on the May 23, in what is going to be the world's largest democratic exercise comprising of 90 crore voters, out of a population of 130 crore people.

Elections to the state assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odhisha and Sikkim are scheduled to be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections. The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has come into effect immediately.

We bring you all important numbers pertaining to the EC's announcement.

What are the dates of the polls?

The polls are scheduled to be held in seven phases

The counting of the votes will be done on Thursday, May 23.

Phase 1: Polling date: April, 11
No. of seats: 91

Phase 2: Polling date: April 18
No of seats: 97

Phase 3: Polling date: April 23
No. of seats: 115

Phase 4: Polling date: April 29
No. of seats: 71

Phase 5: Polling date: May 6
No. of seats: 51

Phase 6: Polling date: May 12
No. of seats: 59

Phase 7: Polling date: May 19
No. of seats 59

The state assemblies of Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Odhisha will have their polls simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls.

Surprisingly, the assembly of Jammu and Kashmir stands dissolved with the state currently under President's Rule, but the EC will not hold these elections with the Lok Sabha polls.

Cumulatively, 34 seats are vacant in state assemblies across India, including 24 vacant seats in Tamil Nadu. Polls to these seats too shall be with the Lok Sabha polls.

Phases in Every State

States with elections in one phase:
Andhra Pradhes, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Sikkim, Telengana, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Andaman and Nicobar Island, Lakshwadweep, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Chandigarh.

States with elections in two phases:
Karnataka, Manipur, Rajasthan, Tripura

States with elections in three phases:
Assam, Chattisgarh

States with elections in four phases:
Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odhisha

States with elections in five phases:
Jammu and Kashmir

States with elections in six phases:
No states

States with elections in seven phases:
Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal.

How many voters are eligible to participate?

This will be the world's largest democratic exercise, with 90 crore eligible voters.

The EC also revealed the following voter numbers:

  • There are 1.5 crore voters between the age of 18-19 years of age, 1.66% of the total electorate.
  • 38,325 voters of the other gender too have registered for the polls
  • 71,735 oversea voters have registered for the polls
  • 16.7 lakh service voters have registered for the polls

Election mechanics: EVM and Polling Booths

  • Electronic voting machines (EVMs) shall be used for 100% of polling in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
  • The EC has 17.4 lakh VVPATs, 23.35 lakh control units & 16.35 lakh ballot units.
  • There has been an approximately 10.1% increase in the number of polling booth compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections - from 9.28 lakh to 10.35 lakh.
  • EC to include photographs of the candidates on EVMs.

EC to keep an eye on social media

  • All candidates have to get their social media channels pre-certified.
  • Model Code of Conduct to also include social media posts
  • All candidates to need to put their social media expenditure in their election expenditure.
  • Google and Facebook have political advertisement certifications in place.
  • EC has launched an Android app, CVigil, to help citizens monitor and report malicious election activity (even anonymously) to the EC. All complaints to reach EC flying squads in 100 minutes post the filing of a complaint. It was piloted in the Karnataka elections in 2018.

Crime and Elections

  • The EC issued a notification on October 10, 2018, that political parties fielding candidates with "criminal antecedents" need to mention this on this website and project this on television and in newspapers on three occasions.
  • In the previous Lok Sabha polls in 2014, ₹1200 crores worth of drugs, cash and illegal liquor was seized.
  • In the five states that went to the polls in December 2018 (Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Telengana), ₹296 crores worth of drugs, alcohol and cash were seized.

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