Election Commission has announced the dates of the national election on Sunday. Elections will be held in seven rounds, starting from 11th of April. The Results of elections will be announced on the 23rd of May.
The seven phases’ dates are the following: April 11, April 19, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19.
Apart from National Elections, state elections will also be held in the following four states: Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha. It was speculated that the state elections of Jammu and Kashmir will also be held, but, considering the situation, election commission found it more appropriate to postponed the elections there.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the upcoming Lok Sabha elections a festival of Democracy. He tweeted, "The festival of democracy, elections are here. I urge my fellow Indians to enrich the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with their active participation. I hope this election witness a historic turnout. I particularly call upon first-time voters to vote in record numbers.”
The main opposition party, Indian National Congress, has accused Election Commission of delaying the dates in favour of BJP. The government rolled out many public schemes in last month to lure voters. Congress accused that had the election commission announced the dates earlier, the government couldn’t have done so because of the passing of model code of conduct. The election commission, however, has dismissed any such accusations.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said that the dates were set according to the ease of the country. "Examination schedules of all state boards and factors like festivals and harvest season were taken into consideration while fixing poll dates,” said Mr. Arora.
Last time, it was Bhartiya Janta Party who secured more than 250 seats and hence came in government with a majority, the first time in a decade. According to most of the political analysts, it will be difficult for any political party to claim a majority this time.