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Voting in first phase of Lok Sabha election currently underway in 21 states and union territories
Lok Sabha
Glimpses of the preparations of the First Phase of Elections at Gadchiroli District. Photo Courtesy: PIB

Voting in first phase of Lok Sabha election currently underway in 21 states and union territories

| @indiablooms | 19 Apr 2024, 08:44 am

Voting in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections across 102 parliamentary constituencies in 21 states and union territories commenced on Friday.

Out of the total 97 crore voters, a total of 16.63 crore voters are eligible to exercise their voting rights in the first phase between 7 am and 5 pm in most of the booths.

A total of 1,625 candidates are in the fray as polling begins in 1.87 lakh polling stations.

Voting is being held in Naxal-infested Bastar that recently saw over 40 Maoists being eliminated in major actions as well as in the ethnic violence-hit Manipur in the first phase which also includes 18 seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and 11 for Scheduled tribes, Indian news agency UNI reported.

With the first phase of voting, polling will be over in 10 states.

Polling will be held in Tamil Nadu (39), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Puducherry (1), Sikkim (1), Lakshadweep (1) Uttarakhand (5), Arunachal Pradesh (2), Meghalaya (Shillong and Tura), and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1) in the first phase.

There are two seats in Manipur (Inner and Outer) and one seat each in Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir (Udhampur) and Chhattisgarh (Bastar) also going to the hustings during the day, besides, 12 seats in Rajasthan, eight in Uttar Pradesh, six in Madhya Pradesh, five seats each in Assam and Maharashtra, four in Bihar, and three in West Bengal.

Simultaneously, assembly elections are also being held in Arunachal Pradesh (60 seats) and Sikkim (32 seats).

Arunachal Pradesh West and East Lok Sabha seats face elections alongside Assam’s five out of 14 – Kaziranga, Sonitpur, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh, Jorhat.

Out of Bihar’s 40 seats, it is poll day in only four -- Jamui. Nawada, Gaya (SC) and Aurangabad.

Ensuring Peace and Purity

The Commission has taken a slew of decisive measures for  peaceful and smooth conduct of the elections. Central forces have been deployed adequately at polling stations to secure the polling process.

Webcasting will be done in more than 50 % of the polling stations along with deployment of micro observers in all polling stations.

361 Observers (127 General Observers, 67 Police Observers, 167 Expenditure Observers) have already reached their Constituencies days before the polls. They serve as the eyes and ears of the Commission to exercise utmost vigilance. Additionally, Special Observers have been deployed in certain states.

A total of 4627 Flying Squads, 5208 Statistics Surveillance Teams, 2028 Video Surveillance Teams and 1255 Video Viewing Teams are keeping surveillance round the clock to strictly and swiftly deal with any form of inducement of voters.

A total of 1374 inter-state and 162 international Border check posts are keeping strict vigil on any illicit flow of liquor, drugs, cash and freebies. Strict surveillance has been kept at sea and air routes.

What did survey show?

The ABP-CVoter opinion poll, the last one before the Lok Sabha elections 2024, has projected a total vote share of 46.6 percent for the BJP-led NDA, with the saffron party likely to win 40.2 percent of the votes.

The survey report was released on Tuesday (Apr 16) ahead of the first phase of the elections to be conducted on April 19.

The opinion poll predicted that I.N.D.I.A bloc could follow close behind with a vote share of 39.8 percent, but the Indian National Congress (INC) is unlikely to poll more than 19.2 percent votes on its own.

According to the latest opinion poll, the NDA is likely to miss its 'ab ki baar, 400 paar (This year, 400+ seats)' target but is projected to clinch a thumping victory, winning 373 out of the total 543 seats.

The BJP could win 323 seats on its own, a rise of 20 seats since the last Lok Sabha polls of 2019, and comfortably beyond the majority mark of 272, according to the survey.

Meanwhile, The INC is projected to make a marginal gain over its 52-seat tally of 2019's polls.

The Congress is likely win 65 seats on its own in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, while its allies from the erstwhile UPA may win 59 constituencies, giving the 'UPA combine' a total seat count of 124.

The survey added that the 'united Opposition' bloc of I.N.D.I.A, comprising some more regional parties in various states, is projected to win a total of 155 seats.

However, the survey has predicted that Rahul Gandhi's 2022-23 Bharat Jodo Yatra and then the two-month-long Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in 2024 have had very little impact on voters.

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