New Delhi: The dates for general elections 2014 will be announced today. The process to elect 543 Lok Sabha members will be spread over nine phases, from April 8 or 9, to May 16, sources said.
The long election schedule will ensure that security forces can be moved across the country for adequate deployment in sensitive areas. The North Eastern states could go to the polls in the first phase. (Elections 2014: Complete coverage)
The model code of conduct will come into force immediately after the dates are announced, which means the government cannot make any policy announcements. Election Commission sources however said this would exclude the process to appoint the Lokpal or national anti-graft ombudsman, which has already begun. (Live Updates: Battleground 2014)
Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim are also scheduled to be held along with the general elections.
This is the first Lok Sabha election in which voters will have the “None of The Above” option if they do not like any of the candidates in their constituency.
The Election Commission held a meeting on Tuesday to review security arrangements and the number of phases the polls will be.
More than 800 million people are eligible to vote in this election. The term of the current Lok Sabha ends on June 1 and a new house has to be constituted by 31 May.
The 2009 polls were held in five phases from 16 April to 13 May