While making the massive announcement of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls on Sunday, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora also disclosed details of India's electorate, revealing that there had been a significant increase in the number of voters who are applicable to vote this time around - exactly what makes the India's general elections the biggest exercise in democracy in the world.
"Total electorate in this Lok Sabha elections will be 900 million. 84.3 million new voters since 2014, 15 million voters in the age of 18 and 19," sais CEC Sunil Arora.
The CEC also added: "Photo voter slip shall be used for guidance but not as proof of identity at polling stations and Voter guide has been prepared for people, carrying all relevant information."
The CEC also announced that the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) will be used with EVMs in all polling stations and that the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has already now come into effect.
The elections are going to take place in seven phases instead of 9 in 2014 elections.
1st phase polling to be held on 11th April,
-2nd phase on 18th April,
-3rd phase on 23rd April,
-4th phase on 29th April,
-5th phase on 6th May,
-6th phase on 12th May,
-7th phase on 19th May.
Counting of all phases on 23rd May, said the CEC.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has welcomed the announcement of the polls and has urged new voters to register and cast their votes in the coming elections.
With the dates for the all-important Lok Sabha polls now announced, the various political parties and the citizens of India have complete clarity on exactly when the country will once again undertake the largest exercise in democracy anywhere in the world.