The Indian Election Commission announced that the general election will take place in seven phases between April and May.
The polls will elect a new Lok Sabha, or lower house of parliament, and will be held from 11 April to 19 May. Votes will be counted on 23 May.
With 900 million eligible voters – about 15 million between the ages of 18 and 19 years – India’s election will be the largest the world has seen.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)will be battling the main opposition Congress and a host of regional parties amongst them leaders of two powerful regional rivals have formed a coalition against the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state.