Lok Sabha polls: Rahul Gandhi urges people to vote to “strengthen democracy”

Lok Sabha polls: Rahul Gandhi urges people to vote to “strengthen democracy”

As the first phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections commenced on Friday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi urged everyone eligible to exercise their franchise emphasizing that each vote is going to “decide the future of Indian democracy and the coming generations.”

“Today is the first phase of voting! Remember, each of your votes is going to decide the future of Indian democracy and the coming generations. So come out and strengthen democracy by applying the power of your vote to the wounds inflicted on the soul of the nation in the last 10 years. Defeat hatred and open the ‘Muhobbat ki Dukan’ in every corner,” the Congress leader posted on X.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi specifically called upon the young and first-time voters to come out in large numbers, emphasizing that every vote counts and every voice matters.

“The 2024 election commences today! As 102 seats across 21 states and UTs go to the polls, I urge all those voting in these seats to exercise their franchise in record numbers. I particularly call upon the young and first-time voters to vote in large numbers. After all, every vote counts and every voice matters!” the PM said in a post on X.

The world’s largest democratic exercise kicked off in the country today, with the first phase of a marathon exercise stretching out over seven phases to elect 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha.

This election, to be conducted from April 19 to June 1, is set to be the second longest polling exercise in the country’s electoral history after the first general election, which was held over five months between September 1951 and February 1952.

The last general elections in 2019 were also held in seven phases.

A total of 102 constituencies across 21 states and Union Territories will vote in the first phase today. Vote counting will be done on June 4.

Those voting in the first phase include 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.

In the states of Bihar, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh, voting will take place in all seven phases, including on April 19.

Single-phase polling will be held on April 19 in Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Island.

Along with this, voters in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will cast their ballots for their assembly elections today, as per the Chief Election Commissioner’s announcement on March 16.

Of the total 96.8 crore registered voters, 49.72 crore are men and 47.1 crore are women.

Srinagar News

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