Election Commission to announce dates of poll today at 5 pm

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Addressing a presser in Bhubaneswar today, the CEO said that elections will be conducted in a total of four and five Lok Sabha seats of Odisha in the first phase and second phase respectively, while elections for six Lok Sabha seats each will be conducted in the third and fourth phase. Election results will be announced on May 23.

With the announcement of poll dates, the State government has been notified to strictly implement the model code of conduct with immediate effect.

Gearing up for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Congress is taking a slew of steps to counter the BJP's sustained campaign.

There will be approximately 10 lakh polling booths, compared to nine lakh polling booths during 2014 Lok Sabha elections, said Arora. While 14 seats will go to the polls in phase 2 on April 18, the rest 14 will vote in phase 3 on April 23.

Elections to the 17th Lok Sabha for 543 parliamentary constituencies will begin on April 11 and be held over seven phases until May 19, Chief Election Commissioner of India Sunil Arora announced in New Delhi on Sunday.

In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had won a landslide majority to form its government at the Centre after a gap of 10 years.

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On April 23, polling will be held in Chikkodi, Belagavi, Bagalkote, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Raichur, Bidar, Koppal, Ballari, Haveri, Dharwad, Uttar Kannada, Davangere and Shivamogga.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said it was for the first time since 1996 that assembly elections in the state were not being held on time.

The Jammu and Kashmir assembly was dissolved in November a year ago, months after the Mehbooba Mufti-headed government in the state fell following the BJP withdrawing support to it in June. Almost 90 crore voters would be eligible to vote for 543 Lok Sabha constituencies across the country.

There is a high probability of the elections being spread across seven to eight phases this time. The last date for scrutiny of nomination is March 27 and the last date for withdrawal of nomination is March 29.

The Election Commission has appointed three Poll Observers including Noor Mohammad, A S Gill and Vinod Zutshi.

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