Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Indian Elections 2014: Lok Sabha Elections Schedule Out With 814 Million Voters And Wolrd Longest Elections

By Kajol Singh | INNLIVE

In 2014 general elections of India becomes world's longest election schedule in world's largest democratic country. The number of Indian voters has gone from 176 million in the first general election held in 1952 to some 814 million in 2014.

Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath who announced poll Lok Sabha schedule on Wednesday said the increase in the number of voters since the last Lok Sabha polls of 2009 was about 100 million.

The poll panel announced a nine-phase election schedule from April 7. The election election results will be announced on May 16. This is the longest ever poll schedule in India's electoral history.
Sampath said the polling dates would be April 7, 9, 10, 12, 17, 24 and 30 and May 7 and 12. Sampath said simultaneous assembly elections would be held in Sikkim, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

Lok Sabha elections will be held from April 7 to May 12 spread over nine days in the highest number of polling days so far involving an electorate of 81.4 crore, the Election Commission announced today. Counting of votes in all the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies will be held on a single day on May 16, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath announced at a press conference flanked by ECs H S Brahma and S N A Zaidi.

Assembly elections will also be held simultaneously in the states of Andhra Pradesh, including Telangana region, Odisha and Sikkim. 

Sampath was at pains to clarify that it is not a nine-phased polling and the whole exercise will be over in 72 days, three days less than the last elections. The Model Code of Conduct for parties and governments comes into force with immediate effect, he said.

The first polling day on April 7 will cover six Lok Sabha constituencies in two states, while the second on April 9 will cover seven constituencies in five states. 92 constituencies will go to polls in 14 states on the third day on April 10, while a small number of five constituencies in three states will be covered on the fourth day on April 12.

The largest chunk of 122 Lok Sabha seats will go to polls in 13 states on April 17, the fifth day of poll, while the sixth day will witness polling in 117 seats in 12 states on April 24. The seventh day of polling on April 30 will choose representatives in 89 constituencies spread over nine states and the eighth day on May 7 will cover 64 seats in seven states.

Polling will conclude on the ninth day on May 12 with elections in 41 constituencies in three states.

The 2009 polls were held in five phases from April 16 to May 13.

The term of the current Lok Sabha expires on June 1, and the new House has to be constituted by May 31. Along with the Lok Sabha election, Andhra Pradesh, including the regions comprising Telangana, Odisha and Sikkim will go to polls to elect new Assemblies.

It could be the first time the country witnesses elections over such a long period.

An estimated 81.4 crore voters will be eligible to vote in the coming elections with 9.71 crore new voters being added to the rolls since the last elections. The electoral rolls are ready after being updated with January 1 as the cut- off date.

A total of 1.1 crore poll personnel, half of security personnel, will be deployed to ensure a free and fair poll. The database of the civilian staff to be deployed for conducting the polls has been prepared and at least 5.5 million civilians would be deployed.

For the first time in parliamentary polls, a system of paper trail for electronic voting will be introduced in some constituencies on a trial basis. A paper trail would help in avoiding controversies in case of a dispute.

The EC has also issued guidelines to political parties asking them to explain the rationale of financing the promises they make in their election manifestos.

The guidelines that followed the SC's directions in this regard have now been made a part of the Model Code.

From the coming elections, candidates in a parliamentary constituency in bigger states can spend up to Rs.70 lakh on their campaign, up from Rs.40 lakh in 2011. In the 2009 elections, it was Rs.25 lakh. Another first in the Lok Sabha elections will be the introduction of the ' None of the Above' option, which came into vogue in the Assembly elections a few months ago.

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