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Details of the 15th Lok Sabha election schedule

Elections to the 15th Lok Sabha will be held in five phases between April 16 and May 13 and counting will take place on May 16. The number of phases will vary from states to states. Uttar Pradesh, which has the maximum of 80 seats, and Jammu and Kashmir will have five-phase polls while Bihar will go to polls in four stages.

The number of phases will vary from states to states. Uttar Pradesh, which has the maximum of 80 seats, and Jammu and Kashmir will have five-phase polls while Bihar will go to polls in four stages.

Maharashtra and West Bengal will have three phased polls, while Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Orissa and Punjab will have voting in two stages.

The remaining 15 states and seven union territories will have one-day poll, he said.

In the first phase, 124 constituencies will go to polls on April 16. 141 constituencies will witness balloting in the second phase on April 23, 107 seats in third phase on April 30, 85 seats in the penultimate phase on May 7 and 86 constituencies in the last phase on May 13.

Interestingly, the first phase will be overseen by Gopalasami, who will be demitting office four days later.

The CEC said the poll timetable has been fixed after taking into consideration factors like examination schedule, holidays and festivals as also weather.

The counting will take place on May 16, the CEC said, adding the new Lok Sabha will be constituted by June 2.

The Model Code of Conduct has come into force with immediate effect.

Assembly Elections in three states, namely Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Sikkim, would be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls. Besides, by-elections to seven assembly constituencies -- four in Nagaland, and one each in Jharkhand, Karnataka and Mizoram will also be held simultaneously, Gopalaswami said.

The total electorate in the country currently stands at 714 million, an increase of 43 million from 2004 when the last General Elections were held.

For the first time, elections to the 543-member House would be held under the redrawn Parliamentary seats, an exercise that forced several leaders to virtually start from scratch and nurture new constituencies. The delimitation process, undertaken in all states except Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Manipur and Nagaland, has resulted in 499 out of 543 constituencies being reshaped.

This is also for the first time that photo electoral rolls would be used in 522 of the total 543 Lok Sabha seats in this year’s election, the CEC said, barring Assam, Nagaland and Jammu and Kashmir.

The CEC said 82 per cent voters have been covered under the Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC).

He said 8,28,804 polling stations would be used in these elections as against 6,87,402 polling stations in 2004 Lok Sabha, marking an increase of 1,41,402 polling stations.

Affidavits of assets:
Gopalaswami said all candidates will be required to file two affidavits along with nomination papers -- declaring the criminal antecedents, assets and qualification.

He said the non-filing of these details would result in rejection of their nominations.

"The Commission has taken serious note of illegal use of money power in elections and violation of expenditure norms in various manners and has decided to track such incidents closely for follow-up action," the CEC said.

Political leaders with whom the Commission had held consultations last month wanted the exercise to be held in minimum number of phases. The last Lok Sabha polls in 2004 were conducted in four phases.

The announcement of the poll dates came a day after President Pratibha Patil rejected the controversial recommendation by CEC Gopalaswami for the removal of EC Navin Chawla, who is now expected to head the poll panel.

The President arrived at a "considered opinion" and accepted the government recommendation for rejection of the CEC`s report on January 31 against Chawla, who has been accused of being biased in favour of the Congress party, a Rashtrapati Bhawan communiqué said.

The decision came as no surprise since the government had made clear its view that the CEC was not empowered to seek removal of a fellow Commissioner except if a Presidential reference was made to him.

Chawla, a retired IAS officer, is now expected to succeed Gopalaswami on April 20 when his tenure as CEC ends.

  The details of Lok Sabha election schedule
  Phase Date  No. of Constituencies
  I 16/04/09 124
  II 23/04/09 141
  III 30/04/09 107
  IV 07/05/09 85
  V 13/05/09 86
Counting of votes: May 16.  

  The state-wise dates for Lok Sabha polls
  Phase Date 
  J-K, UP April 16, 23, 30, May 7 and May 13
  Bihar April 16, 23, 30 and May 7
  Maharashtra April 16, 23, and 30
  West Bengal April 30, May 7 and 13
  Andhra Pradesh April 16 and 23
  Assam April 16 and 23
  Karnataka April 23 and 30
  Madhya Pradesh April 23 and 30
  Manipur April 16 and 23
  Orissa April 16 and 23
  Punjab April 16 and 23
  Jharkhand April 16 and 23
  Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh April 01 and 16
  Goa, Tripura April 01 and 23
  Gujarat, Sikkim April 01 and 30
  Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan May 01 and 07
  Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand May 01 and 13
  Union Territories  
  Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu April 01 and 30
  Chandigarh, Puducherry April 01 and 13
  Andaman and Nicobar Island, Lakshadweep April 01 and 16

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