Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath has appealed to all political parties and candidates to uphold the democratic traditions of the nation by maintaining high standards of ‘political discourse and fair play’.

Sampath, who announced the schedule for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, said the Election Commission reassures the nation of its solemn resolve and deep commitment to fulfill its constitutional mandate to conduct free, fair and credible elections.

“The central awareness observers will oversee the efficient and effective management of the electoral process at the field level, mainly in respect of voter awareness and facilitation. The observers will also monitor various media related aspects and the mechanism at district levels on checking the problem of paid news,” he said.

The Election Commission will be organising 9, 30,000 camps on March 9 to register new names in the electoral rolls.  In comparison to the last general elections held in 2009, the coming polls would see more than 81.4 crore voters exercise their voting rights.

The Lok Sabha election is to be held over nine days from April 7 to May 12. Counting of votes will take place on May 16.

The general elections will witness a direct contest between Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. The two leaders are at the moment leaving no stone unturned in reaching out to the voters.

Opinion polls have clearly indicated that Modi has an edge over Rahul, who is leading the Congress campaign asking voters for a third consecutive term in power.

Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which made an impressive debut in the 2013 Delhi Assembly polls, is being seen by many as an unpredictable element in the general elections.