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Kolkata: The Election Commission of India (EC) has at last declared the schedule for Lok Sabha elections in the country.

The full bench of the EC ~ chief election commissioner Sunil Arora, commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra ~ announced the poll schedule at a news conference in New Delhi this afternoon.

Going by the announcement, the elections will be held in the country in seven phases ~ Phase-I 11 April, Phase-II 18 April, Phase-III 23 April, Phase-IV 29 April, Phase-V 6 May, Phase-VI 12 May, and Phase-VIII 19 May. The counting of votes will be on 23 May.

Simultaneously, general Assembly elections will be held in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.

In 2014, the Lok Sabha polls were conducted in the country nine phases between 7 April and 12 May. The counting was done on 16 May.

According to chief election commissioner Arora, in West Bengal, the polling will take place in seven phases.

There are 23 districts in Bengal and the number of Lok Sabha seats is 42. This time, the first phase of the elections in Bengal will be on 11 April and the last phase on 19 May.

Last time, the Lok Sabha elections in Bengal was conducted in five phases ~ 17, 24, 30 April, 7, and 12 May.

The number of voters in Bengal, as on 14 January, is 6,98,59,736 and out of this, 3,39,75,979 are female voters. The number of polling stations is 78,799.

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