Lok Sabha elections 2024: First phase voting underway for 102 seats

Nation Votes in Marathon First Phase of Lok Sabha Polls
Lok Sabha Polls (Photo - Web)

The mega seven-phase electoral exercise for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections kicked off on Friday with voters across 102 parliamentary constituencies spread over 21 states and Union Territories exercising their franchise in the first phase. Voting commenced at 7 a.m. and will continue until 6 p.m.

Alongside the Lok Sabha polls, assembly elections are also being held in the north-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. While Arunachal is voting for 2 Lok Sabha seats and its 60-member assembly, Sikkim is polling for 32 assembly seats and 1 Lok Sabha seat.

The elections are witnessing a high-stakes battle between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is seeking his third consecutive term, and the opposition bloc INDIA – a coalition formed to challenge the ruling BJP.

Several Union ministers, including Nitin Gadkari, Kiren Rijiju, Bhupendra Yadav, and Arjun Ram Meghwal, are among the prominent candidates in the fray in this phase. Notable constituencies witnessing polling include 8 in Uttar Pradesh, 5 in Maharashtra, 3 in West Bengal, all 39 seats of Tamil Nadu and 1 in Puducherry, 5 in Assam, and 4 in Bihar.

The Election Commission has deployed over 18 lakh personnel across the 102 constituencies to ensure smooth conduct of polls. Additionally, webcasting is being done in over 50% of polling stations, while micro-observers have been deployed in all booths.

As per the latest figures released by the EC, Tripura is leading with a 34.54% voter turnout till 11 am, followed by West Bengal (33.56%), Meghalaya (33.12%), and Madhya Pradesh (30.56%) till 11 am. The lowest turnout of 16.33% has been recorded in Lakshadweep. The voter turnout in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was over 67 per cent.

Key issues ranging from unemployment, violence against women, farmers’ grievances, paper leaks, land rights of tribals, and price rise have taken center stage across the country during this election.

The remaining phases of the Lok Sabha elections will be held on April 26, May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25, and June 1. The results, declared on June 4, will ultimately decide whether PM Modi secures another term or if the opposition bloc emerges victorious.

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