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India Announces Poll Schedule, 900 Million to Vote in the 7-Phased Election

© REUTERS / Cathal McNaughtonPeople queue to vote during the state assembly election, in the town of Deoband, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, February 15, 2017
People queue to vote during the state assembly election, in the town of Deoband, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, February 15, 2017 - Sputnik International
For the first time, citizens in India will record instances of poll code violations on their smartphones and send the same to poll officials via the Election Commission Android application. The commission emphasized that action on the complaint must be taken in 100 minutes.

New Delhi (Sputnik): The world's second most populated country, India, will go to polls in the second week of April and the results which will decide the new government for the South Asian bicameral democracy, which has a tenure of five years for its central government. Polls to the lower house, the Lok Sabha, were announced today.

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The Election Commission of India, in a media briefing on Sunday evening, declared that the parliamentary election will be held in seven phases beginning from 11 April 2019, while the counting of votes will be held on 23 May.

The current term of the Narendra Modi-led BJP government will expire on 3 June, and Lokasabha Elections will be held in seven phases.

"Around 900 million citizens are eligible to cast their vites in 2019 general election against 814.5 million in 2014 election", Sunil Arora, the country's chief election commissioner, said while briefing media on Sunday in New Delhi.

Interestingly, a whopping 15million first-time voters in the age group of 18-19 years will cast their ballots in the 2019 polls.

This year, electronic voting machines will have pictures of candidates to avoid discrepancies, Arora added.

Around 900 million voters will cast their ballots to elect 543 lawmakers to India's lower house of parliament.

The world's largest democratic exercise will witness Prime Minister Narendra Modi run for a second term against a large opposition coalition led by Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Gandhi-Nehru family. 

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Reportedly, Prime Minister Modi is facing a major backlash from youth and farmers as the slowing economy has failed to generate desired results for them. Rahul Gandhi has also been raising the issue of corruption in the $8.7 billion Rafale fighter jet purchase from France.

Nevertheless, the governing Bharatiya Janata Party is seeking to win the support of alienated voters by raising the issue of national security in the polls, a tendency that the Election Commission has advised against for all the political parties.

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