NEW DELHI (Agencies) - India will hold general elections next month, officials announced Monday, kick-starting a frenetic campaign for the 700 million votes up for grabs in the world's biggest democracy. The schedule for the Lok Sabha elections was announced by Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami. Giving details Gopalaswami said India will go to polls from April 16 to May 13. Counting of votes will be done on May 16 and the 15th Lok Sabha will be constituted by June two. Polls will be conducted in 124 constituencies on April 16, 141 constituencies on April 23, 107 constituencies on April 30, 85 constituencies on May 7 and 86 constituencies on May 13. Five-phased polls will be held in Held Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh, Bihar will have four-phased elections, Maharashtra and West Bengal will witness three-phased polls, while Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Punjab will have elections in two phases, N Gopalaswami announced at a press conference. Remaining 15 states and seven union territories will have one-day polling. Treating Manipur as an exception, polls will be conducted in the state on April 22, considering April 23 is a local holiday there. Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Orissa will simultaneously hold assembly polls. 2.1 million security personnel and four million electoral staff will be deployed for the polls. Dominating the race are the ruling Congress party of Italian-born Sonia Gandhi and incumbent premier Manmohan Singh, and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under veteran Hindu nationalist L.K. Advani. But neither side is seen as strong enough to win enough seats to govern alone, and the results - expected soon after May 16 - are likely to lead to complex rounds of horse-trading for the support of smaller regional parties. "No party will have a clear mandate in the upcoming elections," said political commentator M.J. Akbar, noting the number of coalitions that have governed India since 1996. In a mammoth operation, more than 1.1 million electronic voting machines will be deployed in 828,000 polling stations for the five-phase polls, he said. The major parties have already begun campaigning, with Pakistan, terrorism, Hindu nationalism and the economic slowdown among the key issues. The BJP said it was in a position to win back power. The BJP is campaigning on "good governance, development and security," while also reviving a pledge to build a Hindu temple on the ruins of a demolished 16th century mosque. But Congress managed a strong showing in state elections held late last year, winning in Delhi and the desert state of Rajasthan. Congress is also highlighting its flagship welfare programmes as proof that it has kept its 2004 election promise to work for the benefit of the "aam admi," or common man. The Congress government is seen as having successfully shrugged off accusations of being "weak on terrorism" in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, thanks to a concerted diplomatic push against arch rival Pakistan. One of the main points of debate among election forecasters is how the global economic troubles will play with voters.