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News18 Daybreak | Seven-phase Polls to Begin From April 11, Results to be Declared on May 23 and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For

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Updated:March 11, 2019, 9:47 AM IST

What to Watch Out For

Countdown Begins: Seven-phase polls to begin from April 11, results to be declared on May 23

The Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora, on Sunday announced that the elections will start from April 11 and end on May 19, what will likely be the longest and the biggest elections till date.

The voting will take place in 7 phases and will involve close to 90 crore people. The polling will be held on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19 for 543 Lok Sabha seats across the country. The results will be declared on May 23.

Assembly elections will also be held in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls. The EC, however, decided to not conduct the scheduled state polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

The EC decides: Here's a list of the important announcements made by the Chief Election Commissioner in a press conference in the national capital on Sunday.

1. The EC has decided that voter-verifiable paper audit trails (VVPATs) will be used in all polling stations in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections to allow voters to verify that their vote was cast correctly through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). Earlier, several opposition leaders, including Mamata Banerjee and Mayawati, had raised questions about 'mischiefs' in the EVMs.

2. In a controversial move, the CEC said that they will not be holding simultaneous Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir. The state has been under President's Rule after the ruling alliance between the BJP and People’s Democratic Party fell apart last year.

3. The EC also announced several measures to monitor and regulate content being spread on the next big campaigning medium - social media. This will include dedicated officers on social media platforms including Google and Facebook.

4. Although the EC decreased the overall number of phases from 9 in 2014 to 7, the decision to increase the number in states like Madhya Pradesh and Odisha might become a point of contention. The elections will be spread over 4 days in both these states this time. The number of phases has been increased in cases of Maharashtra (4 phase), Uttar Pradesh (7 phase) and West Bengal (7 phase).

Read more about it here.

Poll dates: Along with the Lok Sabha elections, the assembly polls are slated to be held in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls. Ten lakhs polling stations would be set up this time as against about nine lakhs in 2014.

Polling for parliamentary and assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal and Sikkim will be held in the first phase on April 11. Parliamentary and assembly polls will be held in Odisha across the first four phases.

Find out when elections will take place in your constituency here.

He said she said: Political party leaders of Jammu & Kashmir hit out at the Election Commission’s decision to not hold simultaneous assembly polls in the state. J&K National Conference’s leader Omar Abdullah in a Twitter post said, “First time since 1996 Assembly elections in J&K are not being held on time. Remember this the next time you are praising PM Modi for his strong leadership.”

J&K Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti in a tweet described the decision as a “sinister design of the gov”. “Not letting people elect a government is antithetical to the very idea of democracy. Also a tactic of buying time to disempower people by pushing an agenda that suits their ulterior motives,” she tweeted.

Meanwhile, following the announcement of Lok Sabha election dates (to be held in seven phases in West Bengal) by the Election Commission on Sunday, political parties in the state are divided over some of the dates that are clashing with Ramzan (May 5-June 4, 2019).

“People will face problems in exercising their voting rights as some poll dates are clashing with Ramzan. Since the Election Commission is a constitutional body, I don’t want to comment much into the matter. But they should have considered that people will suffer during Ramzan (in casting votes),” Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mayor Firhad Hakim said.

What You May Have Missed

4 Indians, încluding consultant with environment ministry, among 157 killed in Ethiopian Airlines crash

Four Indians on-board the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 passenger jet to Nairobi were killed after the plane crashed early on Sunday morning. A total of 157 passengers and eight crew members were killed, the airline said. A consultant with the Ministry of Environment, Shikha Garg, is also said to have been killed in the crash. Ministry of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj took to twitter to condole Garg’s death and to seek information of the families of the other Indian nations who died in the crash. "My colleague Dr.Harshvardhan has confirmed that Ms.Shikha Garg is a Consultant with Ministry of Environment and Forests. She was travelling to attend UNEP meeting in Nairobi. I am trying to reach the families of other Indian nationals," tweeted Sushma Swaraj.


News18 Elections Lab: BJP’s chances in the upcoming elections and a brief history of simultaneous polls

    30 days to elections: What 5-Year political graph across India says about BJP’s fortunes

The Election Commission of India has announced the dates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The elections will be held from April 11, 2019, in seven phases. While the poll pundits are already out there with their bets, one overwhelming narrative is that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could be forming the government for the second consecutive term. However, it won’t be that easy. Read Gazanfar Abbas’ analysis here.

    Where nation heads, states head too: Brief history of simultaneously held Assembly Polls in India

This time around the Lok Sabha elections will be simultaneously held alongside assembly polls in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim. A News18 analysis of the Lok Sabha polls that were held since 1980 show that the political party that emerged as the single largest party, and formed the government at the Centre, has often replicated the performance in the respective state elections too.

Here’s a brief history of simultaneously held Assembly pollsin the country.

Nirav Modi tracked down to London, MEA says all effort being made to extradite him

Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, accused in the over Rs 13,000-crore PNB scam, was tracked down to London’s West End by UK-based The Telegraph on Saturday. In a video posted by the newspaper, Modi can be seen sporting a handlebar moustache and wearing an Ostrich Hide jacket, estimated to cost £10,000. When scribes from the paper questioned him on various issues, including whether he has urged Britain to grant him asylum, Modi ducked them by saying, “Sorry, no comments”.

According to Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar India is making strong efforts to get the fugitive businessman back. “We have been aware of his presence in the UK. Ever since we submitted the extradition request to the UK, the matter is under consideration of the British government," he said just few hours after Modi was spotted.

In a video posted by the newspaper, Nirav Modi can be seen sporting a handle-bar moustache and wearing an Ostrich Hide jacket, estimated to cost £10,000. (Credits: The Telegraph)

In a first, Naveen Patnaik to reserve 33% BJD tickets for women, likely to drop several sitting MPs

In a first in the country, four-time Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday announced 33 per cent reservation for women in the allocation of the Lok Sabha seats by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD). “Odisha will send 33% women to Parliament in the coming election,” said Patnaik at a Mission Shakti function in Kendrapada. Patnaik’s announcement comes amid reports of the BJD planning to drop several sitting MPs from the current lot to cut down on anti-incumbency. Many of his party MPs have served multiple terms in the Lok Sabha and the 33 per cent reservation for women is likely to come handy for the Odisha chief minister.

On Reel

Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 11 and polling would be held over seven phases through May 19, followed by counting of all votes on May 23. Here are a few highlights from the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora's announcement on Sunday.

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