By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 10, Mar 2019, 18:38 pm IST | UPDATED: 10, Mar 2019, 18:38 pm IST
Delhi: Let the games begin! Okay, the Election Commission of India did not actually say that but it did throw the grand Indian election season open, announcing the dates for Lok Sabha election 2019.
The 2019 general election will be held in seven phases. The first phase of voting will take place on April 11 while the last phase will be held on May 19. The results of the election will be announced on May 23.
Here is how the voting will take place:
At a press conference in New Delhi, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said that around 900 million -- or 90 crore -- people have been registered as voters for the 2019 general election. These include 1.5 crore new voters in the age group of 18 to 19.
The overall electorate of around 900 million is 84.3 million more than the number of people recognised as voters during the 2014 Lok Sabha election. Similarly, the number of polling stations will go up by around a lakh to 10 lakhs, the Election Commission said as it announced the Lok Sabha election dates.
Also, in a first, pictures of candidates will be displayed along with party name and party symbol on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
he Election Commission also announced that elections would also be held for four state assemblies: Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.
Voting in those states would be held simultaneously with voting in the Lok Sabha 2019.
The Andhra Pradesh assembly election will be held in a single phase on April 11. The result will be out on May 23.
The Odisha assembly election will be held in four phases starting April 11. The result will be out on May 23.
Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will both vote in new assemblies in a single phase on April 11. The results will be out on May 23.
The 2019 general polls, which will elect the 17th Lok Sabha of India, is Narendra Modi's first re-election bid as prime minister. In 2014, Narendra Modi stormed into the prime minister's office with his Bharatiya Janata Party single-handedly wining an absolute majority.
The BJP won 282 seats -- ten more than the majority mark of 272 -- while the then ruling Congress was decimated, winning just 44 seats. The numbers have slightly changed since the 2014 Lok Sabha election, with bypolls and deaths of sitting MPs lowering the BJP's tally to 268 and increasing Congress's by one seat.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, however, has a comfortable majority in the current Lok Sabha.
National security, employment, rural distress and economy are some of the issues that will likely highlight election campaign.
The Congress-led Opposition, which has been whispering about forming a 'mahagathbandhan' or grand alliance to take on the BJP, has been trying to corner the Narendra Modi government on economy and jobs.
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