The Election Commission announced the dates for Lok Sabha polls in nine phases and clarified that opinion polls would not be banned.
It also stated that booth level officers would sit across centres throughout the country on 9th March to allow citizens to complete their enrollment before the elections kick in.
The Election Commission held a series of series of preparatory meetings with representatives of national and state parties on 4th February. Various debates were held on moral code of conduct by various parties.
Regarding postal ballots, Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath said that under law, they are available for certain categories of special voters including constitutional functionaries, defence personnel and those on election duty.
The Election Commission stated that there were 10 crore new voters participating in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Photo electoral rolls are introduced this year and candidates will be provided a copy of the same.
VS Sampath also stated that the Election Commission supported banning of exit and opinion polls, but only exit polls had been banned for Lok Sabha elections.
In 9 poll days, 543 parliamentary constituencies will be covered in the Lok sabha polls.
-The first date of Lok Sabha elections will be 7th April 2014 and will be held in Parlimetary will cover six parliamentary constituencies.
-The second day is 9th April and covers five states and seven parliamentary constituencies.
-The third poll day is 10th April and will cover 14 states and 92 parliamentary constituencies.
-The fourth date is 12th April covering 3 states and 5 parliamentary constituencies.
-The fifth date is 17th April and covers 13 states and union territories and 122 parliamentary constituencies.
-The sixth date is 24th April and will cover 12 states and 117 parliamentary constituencies.
-The 7th Poll day is 30th April and covers 9 states and 89parliamentary constituencies.
-The 8th poll day is 7th may and seven states and 64 parliamentary constituencies.
-The Ninth poll day is 12th May covering 3 states and 41 parliamentary constituencies.
According to VS Sampath, biennial elections will be held in different states and will happen on the same day. Counting will take place on 16th May.
Check out state-wise bifurcation here: State-wise map of Election dates for Lok Sabha polls 2014
Various parties raised and brought issues related to security, devising and election expenditure and also about seasonal conditions.
"The meeting also highlighted the importance of holding elections in free and fair manner and we met Home secretary, chairman of railway board with regard to relevant election management," said VS Sampath.
Polling stations in education premises and polling staff are drawn from there. Early monsoon and late setting in of hot summer in certain parts for entry and exit dates of elections.
A large majority of polling stations located in educational premises, large part of polling staff drawn from that category, said VS Sampath.
The general elections 2014 will be conducted in nine phases, with the first phase of polling to be held around April 9.
The dates was declared by CEC VS Sampath along with Election Commissioners HS Brahma and Dr Nasim Zaidi at a press conference at Vigyan Bhavan. The venue was changed from Nirvachan Sadan owing to space constraints at the EC headquarters.
The elections will see more than 81 crore voters exercise their ballot.
The Model Code of Conduct for governments and political parties will come into force with immediate effect.
An important feature of the polls is introduction of paper trail system for electronic voting in some constituencies on a trial basis.
Also, the EC issued guidelines to political parties asking them to explain the rationale of financing the promises they make in their election manifestos. The guidelines that followed Supreme Court directions in this regard have now been made part of the Model Code.
Another first in the Lok Sabha elections will be the introduction of "None of the Above" (NOTA) option in voting, which came into vogue in the assembly elections a few months ago.
From the coming elections, candidates in a parliamentary constituency in bigger states can spend up to Rs 70 lakh on their campaign, up from Rs 40 lakh in 2011. In the 2009 elections, it was Rs 25 lakh.
India has 9.3 lakh polling stations in the country as compared to 8.5 lakh polling stations in 2009.
81 crore voters will participate in the polling process this year. This means, 10 crore more voters will be participating as compared to 2009. Of these, at least 4 crore are between 18-22 years old and will vote in a general elections for the first time.
Also Election Commissioner HS Brahma said that polling across all the naxal hit areas will be covered on the same day. He also appealed to all the political parties to stop personal scathing attacks against anyone with relation to the Congress calling the BJP prime ministerial candidate "impotent".
VS Sampath also said, "We don't hesitate to use power available but we can't use powers that aren't under our purview. Opinion polls fall under legislative powers".
"We have monitoring committess in district and state levels and identify paid news in print and have made proposal to law ministry to deal with it. Expenditure cases and violation and will be referred to Press Council of India", said VS Sampath on the question of paid news.
Below is break-down of election dates for states and union territories:
Andhra Pradesh: 30 April and 7 May
Arunachal Pradesh: 9 April
Assam: 7 April, 12 April and 24 April
Bihar: 10 April, 17 April, 24 April, 30 April, 7 May and 12 May
Chhattisgarh: 10 April, 17 April and 24 April
Goa: 17 April
Gujarat: 30 April
Haryana: 10 April
Himachal Pradesh: 7 May
Jammu and Kashmir: 10 April, 17 April, 24 April, 30 April, 7 May
Jharkhand: 10 April, 17 April, 24 April
Karnataka: 17 april
Kerala: 10 April
Madhya Pradesh: 10 April, 17 April, 24 April
Maharashtra: 10 April, 17 April and 24 April
Manipur: 9 April and 17 April
Meghalaya: 9 April
Mizoram: 9 April
Nagaland: 9 April
Odisha: 10 and 17 April
Punjab: 30 April
Rajasthan: 17 and 24 April
Sikkim: 12 April
Tamil Nadu: 24 April
Tripura: 7 April and 12 April
Uttar Pradesh: 10 April, 17 April, 24 April, 30 April, 7 May and 12 May
Uttarakhand: 7 May
West Bengal: 17 April, 24 April, 30 April, 7 May and 12 May
Andaman and Nicobar Islands: 10 April
Chandigarh: 10 April
Dadra and Nagar Haveli: 30 April
Diu and daman: 30 April
Lakshwadeep: 10 April
NCR Delhi: 10 April
Puducherry: 24 April