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LS electoral process to begin tomorrow

india Updated: Mar 22, 2009 12:02 IST
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The formal process for the five-phased Lok Sabha elections spread over a month will be set in motion on Monday when President Pratibha Patil issues the notification for the first phase of elections to be held on April 16.

In the first phase, polls would be held for 124 seats spread over 17 states and Union Territories.

Notifications would also be issued by respective Governors for 154 of the 294 assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh and 70 of the 147 assembly seats in Orissa, which would also go 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.

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.

The Lok Sabha polls would be held in five phases on April 16, 23, 30 and May seven and 13.

Counting of votes would place take on May 16.

Nearly 714 million voters would be eligible to exercise their franchise through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to elect the 15th Lok Sabha. The 543-member House has to be constituted before June 2.

Elections in 499 out of the 543 Parliamentary constituencies, except in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Manipur and Nagaland would be held on the basis of the redrawn constituencies following the delimitation exercise.

A mammoth 40 lakh civilian officials and 21 lakh security personnel would be deployed for the smooth conduct of polls.

Personnel of central police forces, state police forces, home guards and Railway Protection Force would be mobilised to guard the more than 8.28 lakh polling stations spread throughout the country.

Nearly 2,500 poll observers would monitor the polls across the country.

They have been specifically told to track all advertisements especially surrogate advertisements in the guise of news items, mass weddings, birthday parties and mass feeding sessions against backdrop of instances of distribution of money in violation of Model Code of Conduct by candidates and political parties.

Besides carrying out vulnerability mapping, the Commission would focus more on "silent intimidation" of voters from exercising their franchise by some elements.