Stage set for world's biggest election as India votes for 102 Lok Sabha seats in first phase | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Stage set for world's biggest election as India votes for 102 Lok Sabha seats in first phase

Apr 18, 2024 10:57 PM IST

The 2024 Lok Sabha elections will kick off Friday with polling for the first phase scheduled in 102 seats spread across 21 states and Union territories.

The stage is set for the world's largest democratic exercise as India votes on Friday in the first phase of assembly elections. Of 543 Lok Sabha seats, polling will be held for 102 parliamentary constituencies across 21 states and union territories during the first phase of general elections. Assembly elections for the two northeastern states of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh will also be held simultaneously.

Polling officials leave for their respective polling stations after collecting EVMs and other election material ahead of the first phase of voting for Lok Sabha elections, in Tinsukia, Assam on Thursday.(ANI)
Polling officials leave for their respective polling stations after collecting EVMs and other election material ahead of the first phase of voting for Lok Sabha elections, in Tinsukia, Assam on Thursday.(ANI)

The Election Commission of India has made elaborate security arrangements for the polls, which will begin at 7am and end at 6pm. The Election Commission has deployed over 18 lakh polling personnel across 1.87 lakh polling stations where over 16.63 crore voters will exercise their franchise. An estimated 8.4 crore male voters, 8.23 crore female voters and 11,371 third gender electors are eligible to vote in the first phase, according to Election Commission.

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Read: ‘Modi ki guarantee’ vs ‘Nyay’: Campaign ends for 1st phase of Lok Sabha polls

Polling will be held in all seats of Tamil Nadu (39), Uttarakhand (5), Arunachal Pradesh (2), Meghalaya (2), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Puducherry (1), Sikkim (1) and Lakshadweep (1).

Voting exercise will also be carried out in 12 seats in Rajasthan, eight in Uttar Pradesh, six in Madhya Pradesh, five seats each in Assam and Maharashtra, four in Bihar, three in West Bengal, two in Manipur, and one seat each in Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh.

Read: Hanuman Beniwal, Rahul Kaswan among key candidates in Rajasthan's 1st phase of Lok Sabha polls

Strife-torn Manipur has two Lok Sabha seats –Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur – but polling on Outer Manipur will be held in two phases due to the special situation owing to ethnic violence witnessed by the state. While voting on all polling stations of the Inner Manipur constituency will be held on April 19, separate dates have been announced for polling stations in outer Manipur - April 19 (phase 1) and April 26 (phase 2).

The poll body has put out all the stops to reach out to the voters, especially the young and first-time voters, by using memes, quirky lines or dialogues from famous movies to drive the message home.

"We are excited to vote in #LokSabhaElections2024 Are you ready too?#SaathChalenge #Elections2024 #ChunavKaParv #DeshKaGarv #FirstTimeVoters #ECI," the ECI posted on X on Wednesday, and used a meme based on a still from a scene from the film 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani' with a tagline 'Excitement of first time voters before voting'.

On the eve of the April 19 elections, the Election Commission also reposted a meme shared by Doordarshan themed on the film ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ as well as a classic poster by Amul which had a pun-laced tagline -- 'World's greataste elections! Amul Your favourite choice".

Campaigning for the first phase ended Wednesday evening. In 2019, the UPA had won 45 of these 102 seats and the NDA 41. Six of these seats have been redrawn as part of the delimitation exercise.

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