Lok Sabha elections 2019 will begin on April 11 and continue for over a month till May 19 across seven phases, followed by counting of votes on May 23, the Election Commission announced on Sunday, kick-starting a mega electoral battle where the BJP will pitch for a re-election of the Modi government amid the Opposition's efforts for a united fight to unseat it.
Twenty-two states and union territories (UTs), including Andhra Pradesh, will have Lok Sabha elections in a single phase while it will be spread across seven phases in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.
The EC said the 'voter verifiable paper audit trail' (VVPAT) will be used in all polling stations this time. Ten lakhs polling stations would be set up this time as against about nine lakhs in 2014. EVMs and postal ballots will carry pictures of candidates.
In 2014, the BJP had won 282 seats handing a crushing defeat to the 10-year-rule of the United Progressive Alliance led by Congress.
|PHASE||DATES||LOK SABHA SEATS|
|Single||11 April||Araku, Srikakulam, Viziananagaram, Visakhapatnam, Anakapalle, Kakinada, Amalapuram, Rajahmundry, Narsapuram, Eluru, Machilipatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur, Narasaraopet, Bapatla, Ongole, Nandyal, Kurnool, Anantapur, Hindupur, Kadapa, Nellore, Tirupati, Rajampet, Chittoor|
"Best wishes to the Election Commission, all those officials and security personnel who will be on the field, across the length and breadth of India assuring smooth elections. India is very proud of the EC for assiduously organising elections for several years," Modi tweeted.
(With PTI inputs)