Lok Sabha elections from 11 April, JK to have five phases

Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya Amir Khusrau song

About 900 million citizens will be eligible to vote, 15 million of them aged between 18 and 19, in a mammoth exercise lasting more than a month, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said at a press briefing in the capital New Delhi on Sunday. Election results will be announced on May 23.

The Election Commission announced that the Model Code of Conduct had come immediately into effect following their announcement of the poll schedule.

Arora said the Election Commission made a decision to announce the schedule for only Lok Sabha polls in the state and not for the assembly elections due to inputs it had received from authorities regarding constraint of availability of central forces for enforcing security in the wake of recent violence. Four phase elections will be held in Jharkhand, MP, Maharashtra, Orissa, while Assam and Chhattisgarh will see three-phase polls.

Surendra Kumar also informed that Maoist affected areas of the State will simultaneously go to polls along with Maoist affected regions of adjoining states so that Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) can be smoothly mobilized.

The J & K assembly's six-year term was to end on March 16, 2021, but it got dissolved after a ruling coalition between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fell apart.

Almost 90 crore voters will be eligible to vote for 543 Lok Sabha constituencies across the country.

There is a high probability of the elections being spread across seven to eight phases this time. The last date for filing of nominations is March 25.

Notably, the term of the present Lok Sabha ends on June 3.

Similarly, Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Puri and Bhubaneswar parliamentary constituencies will see the third phase elections on April 23, the last phase polls will be held in Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur constituencies on April 29.

According to the new rules laid out by the election commission, the candidates are required to give their details of the properties that they hold overseas, aside of the ones that are there in the country in their poll affidavits.

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