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Voting underway across 49 seats in fifth phase of Lok Sabha polls
Lok Sabha Polls
Photo Courtesy: PIB

Voting underway across 49 seats in fifth phase of Lok Sabha polls

| @indiablooms | 20 May 2024, 08:44 am

Voting is currently underway in 49 seats across six states and two Union Territories in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls on Monday.

The voting process started at 7 am.

Despite the small number of seats going for polls in this phase, the fates of high-profile leaders like  Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, and Piyush Goyal, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

In this phase, over 8.95 crore voters are eligible to express their democratic choice across 94,732 polling stations in the country.

  States/UTs going for polls in phase-5 are - Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.

"Cities like Mumbai, Thane, Lucknow are going to polls in this phase, which have in the past suffered from urban apathy in voting," Election Commission said in a statement.

In politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is contesting the polls against BJP’s Dinesh Pratap Singh in Rae Bareli.

This is the first time Gandhi is fighting from the seat.

In 2019, Union Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani had defeated Gandhi in Amethi, which was previously considered a Congress bastion.

Gandhi is also contesting the polls from Wayand in South where voting was held in an earlier phase.

Rahul Gandhi is contesting the polls after former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi resigned and got elected to the Rajya Sabha.

Smriti Irani is facing close confidant of the Gandhi family and Congress candidate Kishori Lal Sharma in the Amethi seat.

17 Special trains and 508 Helicopter sorties ferried polling and security personnel. 153 Observers (55 General Observers, 30 Police Observers, 68 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 2000 Flying Squads, 2105 Static Surveillance Teams, 881 Video Surveillance Teams and 502 Video Viewing Teams are keeping surveillance round the clock to deal with any form of inducement of voters strictly and swiftly.

A total of 216 international border check posts and 565 inter-state 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.    

Indian PM Narendra Modi urged people to cast his votes.

He posted on X: "As 49 seats across 8 states and UTs go to the polls today in the 5th phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, urging all those whose constituencies are polling today to vote in record numbers. I specially call upon women voters and young voters to exercise their franchise."

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