India's Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora speaks during a press conference in New Delhi, India, March 10, 2019. Sunil Arora announced the general election schedule in New Delhi on Sunday. According to him, the election will be held in seven phases, and the first phase of polling will be held on April 11. (Xinhua/Partha Sarkar)
NEW DELHI, March 10 (Xinhua) -- India's Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora announced the general election schedule on Sunday.
According to him, the election will be held in seven phases, and the first phase of polling will be held on April 11.
The second phase of polling will be held on April 18, the third phase on April 23, the fourth phase on April 29, the fifth phase on May 6, the sixth phase on May 12, and the seventh and last phase of polling would take place on May 19, said the CEC.
All the votes will be counted on May 23, he added.
The CEC further stated that a total of 900 million voters will be casting ballots across the country, as compared to 816 million voters in the last general election held in 2014.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday welcomed the announcement of the election.
He also urged the voters to exercise their right to vote in large numbers.
"I urge my fellow Indians to enrich the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with their active participation. I hope this election witnesses a historic turnout. I particularly call upon first time voters to vote in record numbers," tweeted Modi.
India has a bicameral parliament and Lok Sabha is the lower house of the parliament.
"2019 polls are about a spirit of confidence and positivity with which India is fulfilling the aspirations of its people," Modi said in another tweet.
Elections are held every five years for the lower house. The term of the present Lok Sabha is to end on June 3.
There are 545 lawmakers in Lok Sabha, out of which 543 are elected directly by the people and the rest two are reserved ones.
According to the CEC, there are around 84.3 million new voters added since the last parliamentary polls, out of which 15 million voters are in the age ground of 18-19 years.