Kolkata/New Delhi: The polling process to elect the next government of the world`s largest democracy begins on Monday with the Election Commission issuing the notification for the first of the seven-phase Lok Sabha polls involving 91 seats spread over 20 states and union territories.
The notification heralds filing of nominations by the candidates for these parliamentary constituencies, before plunging into the heat and dust for a gruelling campaign for the elections to the 17th Lok Sabha.
The last date for filing nominations for the first phase is March 25. The scrutiny takes place the next day, while March 28 is the last date for withdrawal of nominations. The polling day is April 11.
The first phase involves all the 25 Lok Sabha constituencies of Andhra Pradesh and 17 from Telangana.
The others states and union territories going to the polls in this round are: Arunachal Pradesh (2), Assam (5), Bihar (4), Chattishgarh (1), Jammu and Kashmir (2), Maharashtra (7), Manipur (1), Meghalaya (2), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Odisha (4), Sikkim (1), Tripura (1), Uttar Pradesh (8), Uttarakhand (5), West Bengal (2), Andaman and Nicobar (1) and Lakshadweep (1).
The five-year term of the 16th Lok Sabha is due to expire on June 3.
Simultaneously, notification would be issued for Assembly elections for four states - Andhra Pradesh (all 175 constituencies), Odisha (28 of total 147 constituencies), Sikkim (all 32 constituencies) and Arunachal Pradesh (all 60 constituencies).
The votes would be counted on May 23. The subsequent polling dates are April 18 (97 Lok Sabha constituencies), April 23 (115), April 29 (71), May 6 (51), May 12 (59) and May 19 (59).