The office of the Election Commission of India in New Delhi
The office of the Election Commission of India in New Delhi. Image Credit: Reuters

The schedule for the general elections and some state assembly polls will be released at a news conference at 3 p.m. local time on March 16, the commission's spokesperson said in a post on social media platform X.

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India will announce the dates for national polls Saturday, officially kicking off campaigning in the world's biggest democracy.

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With almost 1 billion registered voters in India, polling is usually conducted in several phases over multiple weeks across the country. Up for a vote are all 543 members of the Lok Sabha, India's lower house of Parliament, with the winning party selecting the country's prime minister and forming a government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party is widely expected to extend its decade in power, buoyed by support from its largely Hindu-majority base and a soaring economy. It's facing an opposition alliance that's been weakened by party defections, investigations and arrests of opposition leaders, and a cash crunch.