New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) The hustle and bustle of campaigning came to an end on Tuesday in 91 Lok Sabha constituencies spread over 20 states and Union Territories which will go to the polls on Thursday marking the start of the mega seven-phase electoral exercise.
An Election Commission (EC) officer said that since poll timings vary in different seats, the campaigning period also ended at different times between 4 p.m and 6 p.m in different constituencies, 48 hours before the voting closure time.
The 48-hour period preceding the conclusion of voting is called the "silence period" during which any kind of political campaigning is prohibited.
As the silence period began, the election rallies and street corner meetings ended in the 91 constituencies of Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.
In the first phase, voting will take place in all seats in eight states and two Union Territories.
These include all the 25 Lok Sabha seats of Andhra Pradesh, 17 seats of Telangana, five seats of Uttarakhand, two seats each of Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Meghalaya, and one seat each of Chhattisgarh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Andaman & Nicobar Islands as well as Lakshadweep.
The first phase will also cover Uttar Pradesh's eight out of 80 Lok Sabha seats, four out of 40 seats of Bihar, two out of 42 seats of West Bengal and two out of six in Jammu and Kashmir.
The electorate in five (of 14 constituencies) in Assam, one (of 11) in Chhattisgarh, seven (of 48) in Maharashtra, one (of two) in Manipur, four (of 21) in Odisha and one (of two) in Tripura would also cast their votes in this phase.
The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections are scheduled from April 11 to May 19. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.