First Phase of Polling Begins

Amid tight security, first phase of Lok Shabha elections commenced today morning across 15 states and 2 Union Territories.

As many as 1,715 candidates, of them 122 women, are in the fray for the 124 seats. Over nine lakh officials have been deployed across 1.85 lakh polling stations situated in these seats.

It should be noted that all the 20 seats in Kerala, 2 in Meghalaya and 11 in Chhattisgarh are going to polls in a single phase today, while polling is being conducted in 13 out of 40 seats in Bihar, 16 of 80 in Uttar Pradesh, 13 of 48 in Maharashtra, 22 of 42 in Andhra Pradesh, six in Jharkhand, 10 of 21 in Orissa, 3 of 14 in Assam, 2 in Arunachal Pradesh, 1 of 2 in Manipur, and 1 of 6 in  Jammu and Kashmir.

Elections for the lone seats in Andaman and Nicobar islands, Lakshadweep, Mizoram and Nagaland are also being held. Also, assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa are underway at the same time.

The political heavyweights contesting in the first phase include Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Lalu Prasad Yadav, Telangana Rashtra Samiti’s K Chandrasekhar Rao, former Union Minister B Dattatreya, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Murli Manohar Joshi, Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury, NTR’s daughter D Purandeswari and actress Vijayasanthi.

The voting is likely to take place in a much better manner this time as photo electoral rolls will be used in almost all the constituencies going to the polls in the first phase. These photo electoral rolls would help in preventing bogus voting and easy identification of voters.

Besides, the government has also ordered for a stringent check on the state borders to prevent movement of criminals and liquor.

Also, this time the voting would happen post delimitation where the outlines of several constituencies have been redefined.

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