Polling is likely to commence from the second week of April and may be spread over six to seven phases; NOTA option to be introduced

The Election Commission is likely to announce on Wednesday the schedule of elections for the 16th Lok Sabha and the Assemblies of integrated Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim, and by-polls in some Assembly constituencies in different States.

The elections may be held in 5-7 phases.

The term of the 15th Lok Sabha ends on May 31.

The term of the 294-member Andhra Pradesh Assembly expires on June 2, the 147-member Odisha Assembly on June 7 and the 32-member Sikkim Assembly on May 21.Many States and Union Territories, except Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Assam, will have single-phase polling.

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