By Akhil Kumar:Â
The News:Â The election commission of India announced the schedule for the Lok Sabha Polls for this year today.Â The schedule was announced by Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath along with Election Commissioners H S Brahma and Dr Nasim Zaidi at a press conference held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. You can access the full schedule here.
*Â 81.4 Crore eligible voters, that’s 10 Crore more than in 2009.
*Â There are over 9,30,000 polling stations across India, 12% more than in 2009.
*Â Â Counting of LS polls will take place on May 16.
*Â Elections to be held on April 7, 9, 10, 12, 17, 24, 30, May 7 and May 12.
* All Maoist-hit seats will be covered in one single day.
*Â Â There will be flying squads, check posts to keep an on money power.
*Â NOTA facility will be given.
*Â Special camps to be set up across India to facilitate one last round of voter enrollment on Sunday, 9th March.
*Â Ramps for physically impaired to be set up in every polling booth.
*Â 16th Lok Sabha has to be in place before May 31.
*Â For the first time, voter slips that guide people to polling stations will have photographs to check fake voting.
*Â The Model Code of Conduct for governments and political parties will come into force with immediate effect.
*Â Strict action will be taken against officials who are found wanting in any aspect.
* The EC has issued guidelines to political parties asking them to explain the rationale of financing the promises they make in their election manifestos. The guidelines that followed Supreme Court directions in this regard have now been made part of the Model Code.
* Candidates in a parliamentary constituency in bigger states can spend up to Rs 70 lakh on their campaign, up from Rs 40 lakh in 2011. In the 2009 elections, it was Rs 25 lakh.
*Â This time, the Election Commission will maintain a “paper trail” of votes cast. When voters press the button on the voting machine, a bit of paper with the name and symbol of the party will briefly appear and then fall into a box.