Haryana and Chandigarh will go to polls on April 10 while elections in Punjab will be held on April 30. The hill state of Himachal Pradesh will go to polls on May 7 while elections in the state of J&K will be held in five phases on April 10, 17, 24, 30 and May 7 respectively.
The Election Commission announced that the polls would be held in nine phases until May 12, with 814 million people set to cast their votes -- 100 million more than in the last elections in 2009. Results are expected to be announced on May 16 after counting. The code of conduct for parties and governments has come into force for immediate effect.
A total of 9,30,000 polling stations will be set up, stretching from the remote Himalayas in the north to tropical southern tip.
Sampath said the commission had taken into account weather conditions across the country, school holidays, and harvesting time for farmers when setting the dates.