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Breaking NewsLok Sabha poll dates today; BJP eyes hat-trick as Opposition attempts to...

Lok Sabha poll dates today; BJP eyes hat-trick as Opposition attempts to halt PM’s march

Date:

New Delhi: The Election Commission of will on Saturday announce the schedule for the 18th Lok Sabha election, setting the ball rolling for one of the most decisive electoral battles in history.

BJP aims for 400+, Cong alone has achieved that

– Ahead of the poll announcement, BJP leaders reiterated their pledge to cross 50% vote share, something no party has ever done, and cross 400 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha as part of the NDA coalition.
– The last time any party crossed the 400-seat mark was the Congress in 1984 in the wake of PM Indira Gandhi's assassination. It won 414 seats.
States going to polls

Along with the 18th General Election schedule, the EC will also announce poll schedule for elections to the Assemblies of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim

“The press conference by the Election Commission to announce schedule for General Election 2024 and some state Assemblies will be held at 3 pm on March 16. It will be live-streamed on social media platforms of the ECI,” a post by the EC spokesperson said on Friday. The 2019 Lok Sabha poll schedule was announced on March 10 and the seven-phase elections were conducted between April 11 and May 19. This time, political parties are expecting the elections to commence from April 17 and conclude by the third week of May. With the declaration of the schedule, the ruling BJP would be eyeing a third straight term at the Centre besides some key targets. PM Narendra Modi will make a third consecutive re-election bid, which, if successful, will equal late PM Jawaharlal Nehru's record of returning to the PMO thrice in a row.

Ahead of the poll announcement, BJP leaders reiterated their pledge to cross 50% vote share, something no party has ever done, and cross 400 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha as part of the NDA coalition.

The last time any party crossed the 400-seat mark was the Congress in 1984 in the wake of PM Indira Gandhi's assassination.

While the anti-BJP INDIA bloc is seeking to halt Prime Minister Narendra Modi's march by negotiating seat-sharing deals, it has failed to reach understandings in key battleground states of UP, West Bengal and Bihar. Talks between Maharashtra's Maha Vikas Aghadi allies are underway.

In West Bengal, which has the third-highest (42) Lok Sabha seats after Uttar Pradesh (80) and Maharashtra (48), Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already declared all candidates, dashing the hopes of the Congress for any alliance and leaving it dependent on the Left for a pact.

In Bihar, the INDIA bloc's electoral calculations went haywire after its chief architect Nitish Kumar returned to the NDA in a shocking exit this January. In Uttar Pradesh, too, the Rashtriya Lok Dal is now in the NDA, though INDIA allies have finalised a pre-poll deal in the state, as in Tamil Nadu.

For the BJP, the main challenge will come from South India and in the north.

The saffron party's continued focus remains on electoral expansion in Bengal and Odisha in the east; Karnataka and Telangana in the south and on gaining presence in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

In Andhra, the BJP has already struck a pre-Lok Sabha and Assembly poll deal with the TDP and Jana Sena. In Odisha, too, it is in active talks with the ruling BJD for the LS and Assembly pacts.

So far, the Bharatiya Janata Party has declared 267 Lok Sabha poll candidates and the Congress 82.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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