Simultaneous Assembly and LS Polls in Four States

Polling in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will take place on April 19 and Andhra Pradesh on May 13. Odisha will go to polls in four phases – May 13, May 20, May 25, and June 1…reports Asian Lite News

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday announced the dates for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections as well as the Assembly elections to be held in four states — Sikkim (32 seats), Arunachal Pradesh (60 seats), Andra Pradesh (175 seats), and Odisha (147 seats).

While polling in the Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will take place on April 19, Andhra Pradesh will head to polls on May 13. Elections in Odisha will be held in four phases – May 13, May 20, May 25, and June 1.

The results for all four states will be announced on June 4, the same day when the Lok Sabha poll results will also be declared.

In Andhra Pradesh, over four crore voters are eligible to cast their votes for 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats.

As per the poll schedule announced by the Election Commission of India on Saturday, the notification will be issued on April 18, April 25 will be the last date for filing nominations, scrutiny of nominations will be taken up on April 26 while the last date for withdrawal of candidature will be April 29.

Of the 175 Assembly constituencies, 29 are reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 7 for Scheduled Tribes (STs). Four Lok Sabha constituencies are reserved for SCs and one for STs.

Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena said the Election Commission prepared the poll schedule after taking into consideration all relevant aspects like climatic conditions, academic calendar, board examinations, major festivals, prevailing law and order situation in the state, availability of Central Armed Police Forces, the time needed for movement, transportation and timely deployment of forces, and in-depth assessment of other relevant ground realities.

The state requires 1,14,950 civil police personnel, 58 companies of Special Armed Police (SAP) and 465 companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) for the poll process.

He said the state has 4,09,37,352 voters as of March 16, 2024. They comprise 2,00,84,276 male, 2,08,49,730 female and 3,346 third gender. The state has 46,165 polling stations. A total of 34,120 polling stations are in rural areas while 12,045 are in urban areas.

Average number of electors per polling station is 887. Polling station locations are 27,612. The expected auxiliary polling stations are 219.

The poll panel has planned 179 polling stations with all women staff, 63 polling stations managed by PwD (persons with disability), 50 managed by youth and a total of 555 model polling stations.

The CEO said that to facilitate voters in knowing the serial number of the electoral roll in their polling station, date of poll, time etc., Voter Information Slips will be issued. This will have information like polling station, date, time etc. with a QR code but not the photograph of the voter.

Voter Information Slips will be distributed at least 5 days before the date of the poll to all enrolled electors, by the District Election Officer.

About the EVMs, Mukesh Kumar Meena said a total of 1,43,037 Ballot Units, 1,15,410 Control Units and 1,37,190 VVPAT will be used for the polling. A total of 3,82,219 employees will be deployed for the polling process. They include returning officers, assistant returning officers, electoral registration officers, assistant electoral registration officers, sector officers, sector police officers, micro observers, presiding officers, polling officers, booth-level officers and district nodal officers.

The Commission proposes to deploy 50 general observers, 115 expenditure observers and 13 police observers.

The CEO also revealed that the authorities up to March 11, seized cash, liquor, drugs, precious metal, and freebies worth over Rs 164 crore. He mentioned that the seizures during the general elections in 2019 were valued at Rs 75.2 crore.

The enforcement agencies will manage a total of 121 inter-state check posts – 40 with Telangana, 37 with Karnataka, 17 with Tamil Nadu, 21 with Odisha, two with Chhattisgarh, and four with Puducherry.

Meanwhile in Odisha, electors in four Lok Sabha constituencies of Kalahandi, Koraput, Nabarangpur, and Berhampur, and 28 related Assembly constituencies, will exercise their franchise for the twin elections on May 13 while the elections for Bargarh, Sundargarh, Balangir, Kandhamal, Aska Parliamentary constituencies, and 35 Assembly seats, will be held on May 20.

Similarly, voting for Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Sambalpur, and Keonjhar MP seats, and 42 Assembly seats, will be held on May 25 while election in Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara, and Jagatsinghpur Parliamentary constituencies, and the remaining 42 Assembly seats, will be held on June 1.

As per the schedule, the nomination for the first phase will be issued on April 18, the last date for filing nominations will be April 25, their scrutiny will be done on April 26, and the candidates can withdraw their candidatures by April 29.

Similarly, the notification for the second phase will be issued on April 26, the last date for filing nominations will be May 3, they will undergo scrutiny on May 4 and the last date for withdrawal will be May 6.

The notification for the third phase will be issued on April 29, the last date for filing nomination will be May 6, the scrutiny will be done on May 7, and the applicants can withdraw their candidature by May 9.

For the final phase, the notification will come on May 7, candidates can file nominations till May 14, the scrutiny will be done on May 15, and candidatures can be withdrawn by May 17.

YSRCP Names Candidates For Assembly, Lok Sabha Seats

The YSR Congress Party on Saturday announced candidates for all 175 Assembly seats and 24 Lok Sabha constituencies in Andhra Pradesh, dropping a majority of the sitting MPs.

YSR Congress president and Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy announced the candidates after paying tributes to his late father and former chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy at Idupulapaya in Kadapa district.

The ruling party has kept the announcement pending for only Anakapalli Lok Sabha seat.

YSRCP, which had bagged 151 Assembly and 22 Lok Sabha seats in 2019, is locked in a direct tough fight with TDP-BJP-JSP alliance this time.

Barring seven sitting MPs, the YSRCP has either dropped the remaining or shifted them to Assembly seats. Similarly, the party has dropped more than 60 sitting MLAs or fielded them for Lok Sabha polls or changed their Assembly seats.

Jagan Mohan Reddy, who will be seeking re-election from Pulivendula Assembly constituency, told media persons that he is happy that YSRCP has ensured social justice in ticket distribution by allotting 50 per cent of the tickets to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Castes and Minorities.

He called this a historic development in the history of Andhra Pradesh politics.

Out of 200 seats (MLA plus MP), 50 per cent seats (84 MLA, 16 MP) have been given to BC/SC/ST/Minority communities, the party said.

YSRCP parliamentary party leader and member of Rajya Sabha V. Vijaya Sai Reddy will contest for Lok Sabha from Nellore.

Jagan Mohan Reddy also retained the sitting MP and his cousin Y. S. Avinash Reddy from Kadapa despite the allegations against him in the murder of his uncle and former minister Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy.

Kesineni Srinivas (Nani), who was elected to Lok Sabha from Vijayawada on TDP ticket in 2019 and recently crossed over to YSRCP, has been named as the candidate from the same constituency.

Former minister P. Anil Kumar Yadav, who was representing Nellore Assembly constituency, will contest for Narasaraopet Lok Sabha seat

Senior leader and minister Botsa Satyanarayana’s wife Botsa Jhansi Laxmi has been named as the candidate from Visakhapatnam in place of sitting MP M. V. V. Satyanarayana.

For the Assembly elections, the YSRCP has given 29 tickets to SCs, seven to STs, 48 to BCs, 91 to OCs and seven to minorities. Compared to 2019, the party has given seven tickets more to SC/ST/BC/Minority communities. The number of women has also gone up by four.

For Lok Sabha polls, four SCs, one ST, 10 BCs, and nine OCs are in the fray, including 5 women. The number of candidates belonging to SC/ST/BC has gone by four compared to 2019. The representation of women has also increased by one.

The YSRCP claimed to have recognised cadres who worked for the party by giving 14 seats to leaders from local bodies or grassroots.

Out of the total 199 candidates selected for either MLA or MP, 77 per cent of them, i.e. 153 candidates (131 MLA, 22 MP), are graduates and above. There are 58 post graduates and six doctorates. There are 17 doctors, 15 lawyers, 34 engineers, five teachers, two civil servants, one defence personnel and one journalist.

Andhra Pradesh will go to polls (both Assembly and Lok Sabha) on May 13.

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