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Voting begins for 58 seats in sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections

Voting for the sixth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections began on Saturday morning across 58 parliamentary constituencies spread over six states and two Union Territories (UTs) amid tight security and arrangements.

The voting started at 7 am and will continue until 6 pm, with those in line by the closing time still allowed to vote.

Before the start of voting, mock polls were conducted across different states for the Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Odisha today.

The sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls includes eight seats in Bihar, all 10 seats in Haryana, one seat in Jammu and Kashmir, four in Jharkhand, all seven seats in Delhi, six in Odisha, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, and eight in West Bengal. A total of 889 candidates are in the fray.

Forty-two assembly constituencies in Odisha are also going for polls in the sixth phase. Assembly elections are being held in the state simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections in the state. All parliamentary seats in Delhi and Haryana will go to the polls in this phase. The prominent candidates in the fray include two former Chief Ministers – Manohar Lal Khattar and Mehbooba Mufti.

Khattar is contesting as the BJP candidate from Karnal and Mehbooba Mufti as the PDP nominee from Anantnag-Rajouri. Some of the prominent candidates in the fray include Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra and former Union Minister Maneka Gandhi. Bansuri Swaraj, Somnath Bharti, Manoj Tiwari, Kanhaiya Kumar, Dinesh Lal Yadav alias ‘Nirahua’, Dharmendra Yadav, Abhijit Gangopadhyay, Agnimitra Paul, Naveen Jindal, Raj Babbar, Deepender Singh Hooda, Kumari Selja and Aparajita Sarangia are among other prominent candidates in the fray.

Some of the key seats in this phase include New Delhi, North-East Delhi, North-West Delhi and Chandni Chowk in the national capital and Sultanpur and Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag-Rajouri, West Bengal’s Tamluk, Medinipur, Haryana’s Karnal, Kurukshetra, Gurgaon, Rohtak and Odisha’s Bhubaneswar, Puri and Sambalpur are some of the other key seats. Stakes are high for the BJP as also for Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and other constituents of INDIA bloc in this phase of the election.

The riveting contest in Delhi has AAP and Congress jointly taking on the BJP, which won all seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital in the last two elections. While Congress is contesting on three seats in the national capital, AAP is contesting on four. The two parties are part of the INDIA bloc.

The BJP campaign has been bolstered by rallies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and other party leaders. Senior leaders of Congress have also held rallies in the national capital. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has been released on interim bail by the Supreme Court in the Delhi excise policy case, also sought votes for AAP and Congress candidates.

AAP and Congress have also joined hands in Haryana where BJP won all the seats in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Some seats in the state, including Hisar, are witnessing multi-cornered contests. Apart from BJP and Congress, the electoral stakes are high for INLD, Jannayak Janata Party in Haryana. The state will also go for assembly polls months after the Lok Sabha election.

Odisha is also seeing some key battles in Sambalpur, Bhubaneshwar and Puri. Election Commission said that the concerned CEOs and state officials have been directed to take adequate measures to manage the adverse impact of hot weather or rainfall wherever predicted. Polling stations will have ample shade, drinking water, ramps, toilets, and other basic facilities to ensure that polling takes place in a comfortable and secure environment.

The Election Commission appealed to voters to turn out in large numbers at polling stations and vote with responsibility and pride.

Polling has already has been completed on 428 parliamentary constituencies for 25 states and UTs in the first five phases of general elections. Over 11.13 crore voters include 5.84 crore male, 5.29 crore female and 5120 third gender electors are eligible to exercise their franchise in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls. Around 11.4 lakh polling officials will be involved in conducting his phase of election.

Over 8.93 lakh registered over 85-year-old voters, 23,659 voters above 100 years and 9.58 lakh PwD voters have been provided the option to vote from the comfort of their homes in the penultimate phase of Lok Sabha polls. Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency of Jammu and Kashmir will also vote tomorrow. The poll panel had revised the date of polling from May 7 to May 25 after it received representations for shifting the poll date.

The Lok Sabha will be completed on June 1 after the seventh phase of polls in which voters from 57 constituencies will exercise their franchise. The results will be declared on June 4.

(ANI)

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Last Updated: 18th Jun 2024