Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19, the Election Commission announced on Sunday. Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will be held on April 11, along with the Lok Sabha polls.
Counting of votes in 543 constituencies and the simultaneous Arunachal Pradesh assembly elections will be taken up on May 23. With this announcement, the Model Code of Conduct for parties and governments has come into force with immediate effect.
Once the Model Code of Conduct comes into force, governments cannot take policy decisions or announce new projects in the run-up to the elections.
Along with Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, assembly elections will also be simultaneously held in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
On April 11, Arunachal Pradesh (2), Assam (5), Manipur (1), Meghalaya (2), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Sikkim (1) and Tripura (1) will be among the 20 states where polls will be held.
Polling in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will be held simultaneously for the assembly and Lok Sabha polls on April 11 itself.
Manipur and Tripura will vote in two phases on April 11 and April 18.
Assam will vote in 3 phases on April 11, April 18 and April 23. Tezpur, Kaliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur will vote on April 11. Karimganj, Silchar, Diphu, Mangaldai and Nagaon will go to poll on April 18. In the third phase on April 23, polling will be held in Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Barpeta and Guwahati.
Polling in all the northeast states will be completed by April 23 with the last 5 constituencies in Assam sealing the fate of the candidates looking to represent at the Lok Sabha.
The Election Commission on Sunday said that the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) will be available in all the electronic voting machines.
Social media platforms like Twitter, Google and Facebook have committed to ensuring a special monitoring mechanism to ensure a clean campaign.
The commission added that candidates with criminal records must declare their cases through advertisements in local newspapers and television channels.