7-phase Lok Sabha election from April 19; counting on June 4 : The Tribune India

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7-phase Lok Sabha election from April 19; counting on June 4

Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh go to polls on June 1; Haryana and Delhi on May 25

7-phase Lok Sabha election from April 19; counting on June 4

The term of the current Lok Sabha would end on June 16.



Tribune News Service

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, March 16

The Lok Sabha election will be held in seven phases beginning April 19 and counting of votes will be held on June 4, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar announced at a press conference here on Saturday.

The first phase of the General Election will be held on April 19, followed by April 26, May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1.

Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh will go to polls in a single phase on June 1, while Haryana and Delhi will also see single-phase polling on May 25. The lone seat in Ladakh will see polling on May 20.

Polls in Jammu and Kashmir will be spread across five phases from April 26 to May 20.

Also, elections to six Assembly constituencies in Himachal Pradesh—Dharamshala, Lahaul & Spiti, Sujanpur, Barsar, Gagret and Kutleha—will be conducted on June 1. Polls to Karnal Assembly seat, vacated by former Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, will be held on May 25.

Polls in UP, Bihar and West Bengal would be spread across seven phases.

Elections to Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Odisha, will be conducted simultaneously with the General elections.

The CEC was candid as he promised that electronic voting machines ‘cannot be hacked’. Answering question that seven-phase polls spread across so many days will favour the ruling dispensation, the CEC said one has to understand the needs of security forces, too. “They need to move (with each phase), they are under pressure, the election machinery conducting the polls also needs to be kept in mind”.

“We are not favouring any one; it;s a fallacy,” the CEC said.

Rajiv Kumar on being asked about EVM’s said “These cannot be hacked. Each EVM undergoes mock poll three times before all candidates”.

“EVMs are hundred per cent safe. We have done large number of improvements. Each EVM’s number will be shared with each candidate,” he said.

First phase: April 19

Second phase: April 26 

Third phase: May 7

Fourth phase: May 13

Fifth: May 20

Sixth phase: May 25

Seventh phase: June 1

On his former colleague Arun Goyal, who quit as Election Commissioner last week, the CEC said, “Arun Goyal was very distinguished member of our team, I enjoyed working with him”.

“The Commission has scope for dissent and that will keep happening,” he said. 

On Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections, he said, “The Re-organisation Act passed in 2019 and the delimitation had to be matched. All parties asked for Assembly polls with Lok Sabha polls. However, the administrative machinery said there would be need of some 450 additional security companies (each company has about 120 men). These many were not available,” he said, adding “we stand committed on conducting Assembly polls and immediately after these elections, we would conduct them”.

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