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Elections 2024: Lok Sabha general elections in 7 phases from April 19, results on June 4; Here’s all you need to know

Elections 2024: Lok Sabha general elections in 7 phases from April 19, results on June 4; Here’s all you need to know

New Delhi: In the world's largest democracy, every five years, a spectacular theatrical performance unfolds, captivating crores of people with its vibrancy, diversity, and sheer scale. Yes, we're talking about the Lok Sabha Elections in India. And we have the dates now for the grand finale: June 4!

The Election Commission of India on Saturday announced the dates for the general elections to be held from April 19 to June 1 in seven phases. Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar announced today that the results will be announced on June 4.

Phase 1 voting will be held on April 19, Phase 2 on April 26, Phase 3 on May 7, Phase 4 on May 13, Phase 5 on May 20, Phase 6 on May 25, and Phase 7 on June 1. “We will take democracy to every corner of the country. It is our promise to deliver a national election in a manner that we... remain a beacon for democracy around the world,” said the Chief Election Commissioner.

The tenure of the present Lok Sabha ends on June 16 and a new House will have to be constituted before that. As the tenure of Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, and Odisha assemblies will also end in June, these states will get an early taste of the ‘one nation, one election’ process, wherein voters will be casting votes for both Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

Model code of conduct kicks in

With the announcement of election dates, the model code of conduct comes into immediate effect. Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar asked all political parties and their leaders to strictly adhere to the poll code. The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) mandates that no party or candidate shall indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences, create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic, according to the set of guidelines issued by the EC.

It lists out the dos and don'ts regarding general conduct, meetings, processions, conduct of parties and their candidates on polling day, polling booth, observers, party in power and guidelines on election manifestos.

According to the guidelines, all parties and candidates shall avoid scrupulously all activities which are "corrupt practices" and offences under the election law, such as bribing of voters, intimidation of voters, impersonation of voters, canvassing within 100 meters of polling stations, holding public meetings during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the close of the poll, and the transport and conveyance of voters to and from the polling station.

Political parties and candidates shall ensure that their supporters do not create obstructions in or break up meetings and processions organized by other parties. As soon as the poll code comes into effect, the party in power be it at the Centre or in the State or states concerned, shall ensure that no cause is given for any complaint that it has used its official position for the purposes of its election campaign.

Major players and issues

Undoubtedly, the scale and magnitude of a nationwide election in a country like India involve numerous complex considerations. However, the major political parties are hoping to narrow down the voter’s priorities to a few major foundational aspirations on which powerful campaigns can be built.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and his party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), are confident of reelection for a third consecutive term. They have pitched 'Modi Ki Guarantee' as the main theme of his campaign. PM's website describes it as a guarantee for the development of youth, empowerment of women, welfare of farmers, and all those marginalised and vulnerable who have been ignored for decades.

In a letter to the citizens of India on March 15, the Prime Minister noted, “The trust and support of 140 crore Indians inspires and motivates me. The transformation that has taken place in the lives of the people is the biggest achievement of our government over the last 10 years. These transformative outcomes are the result of the sincere efforts made by a determined government to improve the quality of life for the poor, farmers, youth and women.”

BJP is building its campaign by highlighting the welfare schemes of the government, infrastructural development across the country, and the rejuvenation of the country’s cultural heritage.

The major opposition party Congress, on the other hand, is banking on its Nyay guarantees to woo voters. The grand old party saw some success in the state elections of Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana when it pitched such 'Nyay' guarantees to the people. For the Lok Sabha polls, the party has put forward its 5 guarantees aimed at ensuring justice for youth, farmers, women, labourers, and participatory justice.

The INDIA bloc, including the Congress, has been raising the issue of unemployment and rising prices of essential commodities. They have stated repeatedly that the lack of jobs is the single biggest issue and sought to corner the government over the issue. The BJP has hit back citing job growth and a fast-growing economy.

Other major poll issues include electoral bonds, abrogation of Article 370, CAA, Uniform Civil Code, Ayodhya Ram Mandir, farmer protests for legal guarantee of MSP, and the Viksit Bharat vision of the government. Overall, India is poised to see an enthralling clash of ideologies, ideas, and personalities throughout the election season as the EC has opened the race for ruling the most populous country on Earth.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)


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