'Turnout will increase': Owaisi says controversy over LS elections during Ramzan 'unnecessary'

Election Commission

The Lok Sabha polls will be held in 7 phases.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said the model code of conduct would come into immediate effect from Sunday and 10 lakhs polling stations would be set up this time as against about nine lakhs in 2014. The last phase is dated for May 19 whereas the counting will be done on May 23.

The Lok Sabha elections, 2019 will be held across the country in seven phases and the polling procedure starts with the 1st phase to be held on April 11.

The opposition's grand alliance in Bihar, which has as many as 40 Lok Sabha constituencies, remains an unfinished task due to differences among parties like Lalu Prasad-led RJD, Congress, Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP and Jitan Ram Manjhi-led HAM over their respective seat demands.

Even the parliamentary election for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat in the state is going to be held in three phases, he said, underscoring the security challenge in the region.




The Commission reiterated that strict action would be taken for the use of photographs of defence personnel in the election propaganda.

State elections in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Odisha and Arunachal Pradesh could be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections, the CEC said. But the polling in the Telugu states will be held in the first phase itself.

According to the opinion poll, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) may get 126 seats, while the "others", including the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Trinamool Congress, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, regional parties and the independents may win 132 seats. He informed that EC has chose to appoint three special observers for the state for effective monitoring. He said extensive preparations have been made for the 17th Lok Sabha polls. "The abject surrender to anti-India forces is a crying shame", he said, referring to the Uri terror attack and the air strike by India in terrorist camps in Pakistan's Balakot after the Pulwama terror strike.

"However, the date of main festival and Fridays are avoided for poll days", ANI quoted the Election Commission as saying.

While Odisha had witnessed a two-phase poll during 2014 elections, this time the number of phases has been increased to four taking into account the threat of red rebels. Notably, the term of the present Lok Sabha ends on June 3.

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