Election phases announced: code of conduct begins now
The much awaited 2019 election schedule is finally here. The schedule has been announced the latest in 20 years. It was announced on February 29 in 2004, March 2 in 2009, and on March 5 in 2014.
The schedule has been divided into 7 phases instead of 9- ranging from April to May.
The first phase begins on April 11- in 91 constituencies in 20 states.
The second phase begins on April 18-in 97 constituencies in 13 states.
The third phase begins on April 23- 115 constituencies in 14 states.
The fourth phase begins on April 29- 71 constituencies in 9 states.
The fifth phase begins on 6 may- 51 constituencies in 7 states.
The sixth phase begins on may 12- 59 constituencies in 7 states.
The seventh phase begins on may 19 - 59 constituencies in 8 states.
Counting of all the votes will be done on 23rd May.
22 states and UTs will undergo elections in single phase.
Karnataka, Manipur, Rajasthan and Tripura will undergo elections in 2 phases, Assam and Chhattisgarh in 3 phases.
4 states-Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha will have 4 phases
Only Jammu and Kashmir will have 5 phases, and none will have 6 phases.
Three remaining states- Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West bengal will have elections in the maximum number of phases- all 7.
CEC Sunil Arora, who declared the schedule in a press conference, also said that the 2019 elections will see 7 crore more voters than the general elections held 5 years ago. 90 crore voters have registered, out of which 1.5 crore belong to the age-group of 18-19, i.e. first time voters.
Arora also gave the voter helpline number- 1950, for every voter across the country in case of difficulty.
VVPATs will be used for the first time in all 543 constituencies this time, and at all 10.6 lakh poll booths.The booths are 1 lakh more than in 2014.
From this moment, the Model Code of Conduct will be applied, and will remain in effect until the election process on May is over. The application of the MCC signifies that- no inauguration, no fresh policy announced, accounting of every expenditure by every party and the moves of every party will be closely monitored. This is done so as to ensure no party gains an undue advantage prior to the voting process. Personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force will be deployed at polling booths throughout.
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