The preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls are in their final phase and they are likely to be held in seven phases, following the same pattern of the 2019 polls.
In the 2014 elections, the polling was held in nine phases, in 2009 it was five phases. In 2004 the elections were conducted in four phases while in 1999 they were held in five phases and in three phases in 1998, 1996 and 1991.
As per the latest data, this time more than 96 crore voters will cast their vote to select the next government.
In 2019, when the last Lok Sabha elections took place, India had 91.20 crore voters. In 1951, India had 17.32 crore registered voters.
With the increasing voters, the election commission is unlikely to tamper with the seven phase setup that it had followed in the last elections.
This time it has to set up 12 lakh polling booths, two lakh more than what they had in 2019 due to the increased number of voters. An estimated 1.5 crore government officials will be deployed to conduct the elections.
The number of eligible votes, going by the fertility rate of India, will cross 100 crore whenever the next polls are held, which can be earlier than then the scheduled 2029 polls due to possibility of simultaneous elections being held in the country.
It is being speculated by BJP allies that the polls are likely to be advanced. In 2019 the polls were announced on 10 March, while in 2014 it was announced on 5 March. This time it is being speculated that the election schedule announcement will be done by the end of February thereby bringing the model code of conduct into effect.
The first phase of polling in 2019 had taken place on 11 April. In 2014, the first phase of polling was conducted on 7 April.
As per relevant political players, this time the entire election process will be done by April end.
However, till now no indications or statement regarding in how many phases the election will be held in or when will be the first phase has come from the Election Commission, government officials or BJP leaders.