The notification kickstarting the formal process for the five-phased Lok Sabha elections beginning on April 16 was issued on Monday.
President Pratibha Patil issued the notification for the first phase covering 124 seats spread over 17 States and Union Territories.
Notifications were also issued by respective Governors for 154 of the 294 assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh and 70 of the 147 assembly seats in Orissa, going to polls along with the Lok Sabha elections in the first phase.
With the issuance of notification, the filing of nominations by candidates would begin in the massive electoral exercise in which over 714 million voters would be eligible to exercise their franchise to elect a new 543-member House which is required to be constituted before June two.
The Lok Sabha polls would be held in five phases on April 16, 23, 30 and May seven and 13. Counting of votes would take place on May 16.
Nominations for the constituencies going to polls in the first phase will close on March 30 and withdrawal of candidatures would be on April two which would draw the battle lines.
While Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh would have five phased elections, Bihar will see elections in four phases. Maharashtra and West Bengal will have elections in three phases. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Orissa and Punjab will witness two phased elections. The remaining 15 States and seven Union Territories will have a single phase polling.
Notification for the second phase of elections for 141 seats would be issued on March 28, for third phase for 107 seats on April two, for fourth phase for 85 seats on April 11 and for the fifth phase for 86 seats on April 17.
Nearly 2,500 observers would closely monitor the polls across the country for which 40 lakh civilian officials and 21 lakh security personnel would be deployed.