This election is much more than voting a new government. It is about electing a government that can fulfill the aspirations of young India. 24 million voters aged 18 to 19 will be exercising their franchise for the first time. 52 percent of the voters are in the age group of 18-40 years.

If surveys are to be believed, the Bharatiya Janata Party will emerge as the single largest party and the Congress, which is at the Centre since 2004, may lose its ground this time.

BJP strongman and Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, who is the prime ministerial candidate of the Opposition, is aggressively campaigning across the country to make sure that his party conquers the throne of Delhi.

Former Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal is contesting against Modi from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat. Kejriwal’s party won 28 seats out of 70 in last year’s Delhi Assembly election and formed government with the Congress support. However, the government lasted for only 49 days only.

No single party has won a parliamentary majority since 1989.

According to media reports, politicians will spend as much as USD 4.9 billion during their campaign. This is the second most expensive election in the world leaving behind 2012 US Presidential election in which USD 7 billion was spent.

For the first time, voters will have the option of exercising the ‘None of the Above’ option introduced by the Election Commission. This option enables a voter to reject parliamentary candidates.

Observers will this time also scrutinize the impact of the youth vote and technology.

The Election Commission will maintain a paper trail of votes cast. When voters press the button on the EVM, a bit of paper with the name and symbol of the party will briefly appear and then fall into a box.

Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha will be held simultaneously.

There are over 9, 30,000 polling stations across India.

DATES OF VOTING: April 7, April 9, April 10, April 12, April 17, April 24, April 30, May 7 and May 12.

RESULT DECLARATION: May 16.

(JPN)

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