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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Over 16 cr voters to decide fate of 1,625 candidates in first phase of polls today

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: The poll schedule was announced by the Election Commission on March 16. Bypolls to 26 assembly constituencies will also be held alongside the Lok Sabha and four state assembly polls. Bypolls will be held in Ramnagar seat in Tripura and Vilavancode seat in Tamil Nadu today.

Written By: Sheenu Sharma @20sheenu New Delhi Published on: April 19, 2024 0:01 IST
Lok Sabha Elections 2024, first phase polling, Over 16 crore voters decide fate of 1625 candidates,
Image Source : INDIA TV Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Over 16 crore voters to decide fate of 1,625 candidates in first phase of polls today.

Lok Sabha elections 2024: India is all set for Lok Sabha elections 2024 with 28 states and eight Union Territories going to polls. The seven-phase Lok Sabha polls will begin on April 19 (Friday). The Election Commission of India (ECI) said that a total of 16.63 crore voters are eligible to take part in the voting process. A total of around 1.87 lakh polling stations have been set up, while 18 lakh security personnel have been deployed.

More than 1,600 candidates, including eight Union ministers, two former chief ministers and an ex-governor will test their electoral fate today. Over 16.63 crore voters in 1.87 lakh polling stations across the nation will decide the fate of around 1,625 candidates in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections.

The first phase of polls includes seats in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry.

While the remaining six phases of polls will continue till June 1 with around 97 crore voters lined up to exercise their right to franchise. The counting of votes is scheduled for June 4 (Tuesday).

Take a look at some key facts about 1st phase of polling:

  1. Polling for first phase of the General Elections will be held on April 19 for 102 Parliamentary Constituencies (PCs) in 21 States/UTs and 92 Assembly Constituencies in the State Assembly elections in Arunachal and Sikkim. It has the highest number of parliamentary constituencies among all phases.
  2. Voting commences at 7:00 am and ends at 6:00 pm (closure of poll timings may differ as per parliamentary constituencies).
  3. Over 16.63 crore voters include 8.4 crore males and 8.23 crore females and 11,371 third-gender will vote today. 
  4. 35.67 lakh first-time voters are registered to exercise their right to franchise.
  5. There are 3.51 crore young voters in the age group of 20-29 years.
  6. There are over 14.14 lakh registered voters aged 85 plus and 13.89 lakh Persons with disabilities (PwD) in 102 PCs who have been provided the option to vote from the comfort of their homes. The optional Home Voting facility is already receiving tremendous appreciation and response.
  7. Those aged 85 plus and PwD voters, who decide to come to polling stations, will be provided with all facilities like pick and drop, signages, braille signage on EVM, volunteers. PwD voters can also book wheelchair facilities via ECI's Saksham App.
  8. Assured minimum facilities like water, shed, toilets, ramps, volunteers, wheelchairs, and electricity are in place to ensure that every voter, including the elderly and PwD, can cast their vote with ease.
  9. Model polling stations are being set up across the 102 PCs with local themes. Over 5,000 polling stations will be completely managed by women including security staff at over 1,000 polling stations by PwDs.
  10. The ECI has also provided 12 alternative documents other than Electors Photo Identification Card (EPIC) for identity verification at polling stations. If a voter is registered in the electoral roll, voting can be done by showing any of these documents.

Heavy security arrangement for 1st phase polling 

Deploying over 18 lakh polling officials, ECI said that it has taken a slew of decisive measures for the peaceful and smooth conduct of the elections as Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu gave final touches to poll preparations on Thursday (April 18).

  • 41 helicopters, 84 special trains and nearly 1 lakh vehicles have been deployed to ferry polling and security personnel. 
  • Webcasting will be done in over 50 per cent of the polling stations along with the deployment of micro observers in all polling stations.
  • 361 observers have reached their constituencies, days before the polls. They serve as the eyes and ears of the ECI to exercise utmost vigilance.
  • A total of 4,627 flying squads, 5,208 statistics surveillance teams, 2,028 video surveillance teams and 1,255 video viewing teams are deployed to strictly and swiftly deal with any form of inducement of voters.
  • A total of 1,374 inter-state and 162 international border checkposts are keeping a strict vigil on any illicit flow of liquor, drugs, cash and freebies. Strict vigil is being maintained at sea and air routes.

India Tv - Lok Sabha Elections 2024, first phase polling, Over 16 crore voters decide fate of 1625 candidates,
Image Source : ECI (X)Polling officials in Sikkim have left no stone unturned to make the voting process pleasant and comfortable for voters.

Key candidates in phase 1 voting 

Amongst the prominent leaders trying their electoral luck in phase one are Union ministers Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur, Kiren Rijiju from Arunachal Pradesh (West), Arjun Ram Meghwal from Bikaner, Sarbanada Sonowal from Dibrugarh in Assam, Sanjeev Baliyan from Muzaffarnagar in western UP, Jitendra Singh from Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir and Bhupendra Yadav from Alwar in Rajasthan.

Tamilisai Soundararajan, who recently resigned as governor of Telangana and Lt Governor of Puducherry to return to active politics, is contesting from Chennai South Lok Sabha constituency. Nakul Nath, son of Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, is seeking reelection from Chhindwara.

Of the two Lok Sabha constituencies in Tripura, the seat of West Tripura that votes in the first phase will see a high-voltage clash between former chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb and state Congress president Ashish Kumar Saha.

CEC Rajiv Kumar urges people to vote 

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Thursday (April 18) reminded people of the significance of each vote, saying there have been instances when one vote has mattered in a critical contest.

Elections are the most beautiful expression of India's democracy and there is "nothing like voting", he said in a video message. In view of the heatwave, Kumar said people must take all precautions. "But I know the spirit of the Indian voter will beat the summer heat," he said.

"In our great democracy, elections belong to you, the choice belongs to you. You are deciding the government. You are doing it for your sake, for your family and children, for your village or town and, of course, for the country," he said.

"I call upon the youth to lead a revolution in electoral participation," the chief election commissioner said as he urged people to cast their ballot. He reminded people that they should never underestimate the power of "your one vote". There are many instances, when one vote has mattered in a critical contest, Kumar said.

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

ALSO READ: Lok Sabha Elections 2024: List of key candidates and contests in Phase 1 on April 19

ALSO READ: Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 1 on April 19: List of 102 constituencies, states, parties, candidates

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