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Lok Sabha 2014: The month long poll marathon begins from today
The world's biggest election, to elect 543 members to the 16th Lok Sabha has kick started today with voting being held in two states in the Northeast – Assam and Tripura. In Assam there are 14 Lok Sabha seats, whereas in Tripura polls are going on for two seats, namely Tripura east and Tripura west. In the first phase, the voters in the five constituencies in Assam and Tripura west will elect their MP's.

Assam will vote in two more phases, i.e. on April 12 and April 24. Polling for the east Tripura will take place on April 12. The counting of votes will take place on May 16 and the results are said to be released on the same day.

In Assam the security has been tightened for the polls and additional security forces have been deployed in the five constituencies. The voting time is from 7am to 5pm in Northeast except Manipur and Nagaland. For the first time in the Northeast, all the pooling booths have been declared smoking free.

In the Lok Sabha elections 2014, a total of 1221 polling stations will be functional, out of which 8,588 are hypersensitive and the Election Commission (EC) has deployed additional security forces over there. The EC has pressed a team of engineers of Electronics Corporation of India Limited and Bharat Electronics Limited for foolproof rechecking of all the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), as some of them were found malfunctioning, as reported by TOI.

This time the political parties are keen on bringing up youth, and raise the prospectus of a leader born after independence becoming the Prime Minister. The number of voters have increased to about 814 millions, and there is 12 per cent increase in number of poll stations. And the voters will be using the 'None of the Above' (NOTA) option in the EVMs for the first time in Lok Sabha elections.

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