New Delhi, Mar 2 (ANI): Congress party and Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday welcomed the announcement of staggered polls on Monday by Election Commission here.
The Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami along with Naveen Chawla and S. Y.Quraishi on Monday announced that the country will undergo the general elections between April 16 and May 13, in which over 71 crore people will cast their votes.
The CEC said the elections will be held in five phases and the counting of ballots will take place on May 16.
Reacting upon Election Commission's announcement of election dates, Congress said: "We do not believe in confronting decision of a constitutional body. The Constitution has given the body the authority and it must have taken the decision after deliberation. We will abide by its decision," Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Congress spokesperson told media persons here. inghvi also said that the Congress was ready and electoral tie-ups were in the pipeline and it was wrong to view it being anti alliance for polls.
"In no sense is the Congress anti-alliance. We are in active stage of finalization with parties like Samajwadi Party. There is a process going on in West Bengal. There is no reason to say anything that the process would be beneficial or not."haratiya Janata Party has also welcomed the announcement of poll dates and expressed its readiness to register success in polls.
"The BJP welcomes the announcement of the five phases poll in the country by the Election Commission today. We are quite sure that on May 16 when the counting shall be done we will have a new government in place to govern the country headed by L. K. Advani," senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, said.
Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami, and Election Commissioners Naveen Chawla and S.Y. Quraishi announced the poll dates on Monday afternoon.
The elections will be held in five phases on April 16, 23, 30, May 7 and 13, they said, adding that the new government will take office on June 2.
Five phased polls will be held in Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh, while Bihar will have a four-phased election.
Maharashtra and West Bengal will witness three phased polls while Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Punjab will have elections in two phases.
The remaining 15 states and seven Union Territories will have one-day polling.
The first phase of polling will take place on April 16 in 124 constituencies. The second phase of polling will be held on April 23 in 141 constituencies. In this phase, one constituency in Manipur will go to poll on April 22 due to a local holiday.
The third and fourth phase of polling will take place on April 30 and May 7 in 107 and 85 respectively.
The fifth and final phase of polling will be held on May 13 in 86 constituencies.
Counting of votes will take place on May 16.
The Election Commission said that the delimitation of parliamentary constituencies is over except in Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Manipur, Assam and Nagaland. It also said that the Model Code of Conduct comes into effect immediately.
Around four million (40,00,000) civil personnel and 2.1 million police personnel would be pressed into service during the polls, the Election Commission said.
Out of the 543 Lok Sabha seats up for grab, 499 have been redrawn following the delimitation exercise.
There are a total of 71.40 crore voters, of which 4.30 crore are eligible to vote for the first time.
There will be 8,28,804 polling stations for the general elections.
The term of the 14th Lok Sabha ends on June 1, 2009, therefore the new Lok Sabha will have to be constituted by then. (ANI)