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A Long Summer Election Schedule; Polling In 7 Phases From April 19

Counting on June 4; Uttarakhand in 1st phase, Haryana in 6th and Punjab, HP & UT Chd in last; J&K assembly immediately after LS polls

While announcing the schedule for simultaneously holding election to the Lok Sabha, four state assemblies and bypolls to 26 assembly constituencies in seven phases, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has again dismissed the criticism of the electronic voter machines (EVMs), asserting that after due deliberations various high courts and the Supreme Court of India have at various times dismissed 40 petitions challenging the use of the EVMs.

A Long Summer Election Schedule; Polling In 7 Phases From April 19, Lifeinchd
CEC Rajiv Kumar showing a ECI book compilation of the 40 petitions against use of EVMs dismissed at different times by various high courts and the Supreme Court.

“The EVMs are safe,” declared Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar at the media briefing organized in New Delhi on Saturday (March 16, 2024).

In the press release shared with the media the ECI assured that the Supreme Court order regarding mandatory verification of VVPAT paper slip will be strictly followed.

“In pursuance of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India’s Order dated 8th April, 2019, the commission has mandated VVPAT slips count of five randomly selected polling stations in each assembly constituency/segment of the parliamentary constituency of the states/UTs by the returning officer, by draw of lot in presence of candidates/their counting agents & ECI observer, for verification of the result obtained from the control unit,” it said.

A Long Summer Election Schedule; Polling In 7 Phases From April 19, Lifeinchd
CEC and other Election Commissioners at the media briefing.

The CEC committed to holding the much anticipated elections to the Jammu & Kashmir assembly immediately after the conclusion of the Lok Sabha elections. Giving reasons for the delay, he informed that the amendment to the J&K Reorganisation Act of 2019 was made as late as in December 2023 to incorporate the changes necessitated by the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission.

Subsequently, during discussions with ECI the entire administrative machinery in the Union Territory opposed holding simultaneous elections on security grounds, and hence it was decided to hold polls in J&K after the conclusion of the Lok Sabha elections, when adequate security forces would be available for deployment, he added.

As per the schedule announced, the elections will be held in seven phases starting from April 19 and ending on June 1. The counting of votes will be on June 4.

The model code of conduct has come into immediate effect.

The CEC said elections to 102 constituencies will take place in first phase, 89 in second, 94 in third, 96 in fourth, 49 in fifth, 57 in sixth and 57 in seventh phase.

Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will be held on April 19 and in Andhra Pradesh on May 13. Elections to the Odisha Assembly will be held in four phases on May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1.

Bypolls will also be held for 26 assembly constituencies simultaneously.

A Long Summer Election Schedule; Polling In 7 Phases From April 19, Lifeinchd

The total electorate in the country as per finally published electoral rolls, with reference to 01.01.2024 as the qualifying date: 96.9 Cr (compared to 89.6 Cr in 2019; increase of more than 7.3 Cr electors).

First time electors (in 18-19 years age group): 1.84 Cr (1.89% of total electors; 85.3 lakh among them female electors; more first time electors, who attain eligible age as on 01.04.2024, will be added from among advance applications received)

Young voters (age group 20-29 years): 19.74 Cr

Indian overseas electors: 1,18,439

Services electors: 19,08,194.

Senior Citizen electors above 85 years: 81,87,999

Senior Citizen electors above 100 years: 2,18,442

No. of states with elector sex ratio above 1,000: 12 (meaning greater No. of female electors per 1,000 male electors)

Polling dates for northern states

Uttarakhand: Phase 1: polling date: April 19 (Friday)

Haryana: Phase 6: polling date May 25 (Saturday)

Punjab, Himachal Pradesh & UT Chandigarh: Phase 7: polling date June 1 (Saturday)

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