Lok Sabha elections 2024 to be held from April 19-June 1 in 7 phases

The General elections will be held in seven phases between April 19 and June 1 and the results will be announced on June 4.
Lok Sabha elections 2024 to be held from April 19-June 1 in 7 phases
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The Election Commission of India announced elections to the 18th Lok Sabha will be held from April 19  to June 1. The results will be announced on June 4 for all Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Bye-polls to 26 Assembly constituencies will also be held simultaneously. Announcing the dates on March 16, Saturday, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said elections would be held in seven phases across the country, similar to previous Lok Sabha elections.

> Tamil Nadu will go to polls in the first phase on April 19, 2024. The last date for nominations is March 27, 2024.

> Kerala will go to polls in the second phase on April 26, 2024. The last date for nominations is April 4, 2024.

> Karnataka will go to polls partly in the second phase on April 26, 2024. The last date for nominations is April 4, 2024; the other part would have its elections in the third phase on May 7, 2024. Last date of nomination would be April 19, 2024 

> Andhra Pradesh and Telangana will go to polls in the fourth phase on May 13, 2024. The last date for nominations is April 25, 2024.

Rajiv said there are 96.8 crore registered voters and of these, 49.7 crore voters are male, 47.1 crore are male and 48,000 transgender persons have registered as voters. Around 1.82 crore are first time voters. Around 10.5 lakh polling stations and 55 lakh EVMs will be used for the elections. About 2,100 observers will be appointed across the country to ensure the conduct of free and fair elections.

The Commissioner was flanked by the newly appointed Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and SS Sandhu.

The announcement comes in the backdrop of the notification of the Citizenship Amendment Rules on March 11 and release of partial information on the purchase of Electoral Bonds on the ECI website. The information was released after the Supreme Court decided not to give an extension to the State Bank of India (SBI) to release the details of electoral bonds to the public. On March 12, the SBI submitted a compliance report to the SC, stating that they have forwarded the details to the ECI. The information is expected to be made public on the ECI website on 15 March at 5 pm. 

The elections to the 17th Lok Sabha in 2019 were held in seven phases from April 11, 2019, to May 19, 2019. The term of the present Lok Sabha will end on June 16, 2024. The previous elections saw the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), come back to power for a second term comfortably leaving the Congress, its biggest rival, a distant second. Out of the 543 Parliamentary seats, at present, the parties with the largest seat share are the BJP with 290 seats, the Congress with 48 seats, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) with 24 seats, and the Trinamool Congress and YSR Congress party with 22 seats each.

The Congress will be fighting the elections on the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) platform of around 25 political parties. The alliance was formed last year with major political parties like DMK, Samajwadi Party (SP), Shiv Sena (Uddhav’s faction), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) and others. Parties like the Janata Dal (United) which were part of the alliance walked away in recent days as Nitish Kumar allied with the BJP, and Trinamool Congress could not arrive at a consensus about seat sharing with the INDIA bloc and decided to contest alone in West Bengal. The bloc has also not announced the PM face of the alliance, though All India Congress Committee (AICC) chief Mallikarjun Kharge is predicted to have the support of most of the parties.

In Karnataka, the Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S)) will be contesting the elections along with the BJP, making it a two-way contest with Congress. In Tamil Nadu, the BJP will be going to the polls alone as their tie-up with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazahagam (AIADMK) is in tatters, as statements in the state unit of BJP headed by K Annamalai created a rift in the alliance. An alliance of the BJP with PMK is expected to be announced soon.

The BJP in Andhra Pradesh have stitched a three-party alliance with Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena, and they will be taking on Jagan Mohan Reddy led-YSRCP and Congress, which is being headed by Sharmila, who is Jagan’s sister.

In Kerala, there is no major shift in alliances for political fronts including the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. The NDA has focused its energies on select seats like Thrissur, where actor Suresh Gopi is a candidate and Thiruvananthapuram, where BJP has fielded Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

The News Minute and Newslaundry have worked on a series of stories on patterns in election funding by corporate donors. The News Minute is also working with Newslaundry, Scroll and several independent journalists in a collaborative project on Electoral Bonds. Read our stories here.

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