Festival of Democracy: Over 60% voting take place in the 1st phase across country, informs Poll Authority

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Delhi , April 19: Voting in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024 on Friday in 21 states and union territories was almost peaceful except sporadic incidents. The voting figure was more than 60 percent. The data is being collated and this figure may increase by half-one percent. More than 70 percent voting took place in Tripura, West Bengal and Assam. Voting started from 7 am till 6 pm.

With this, the voting process for the state assemblies of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh and the 18th Lok Sabha was completed in 10 states and union territories. 

According to the Election Commission, in the first phase, 66.21 votes were recorded on all two seats of Arunachal Pradesh, 71.56 on 14 seats of Assam, 47.74 on four seats of Bihar, 63.41 on 11 seats of Chhattisgarh, 63.50 on six seats of Madhya Pradesh, 5 seats of Maharashtra. 55.35, 68.81 on two seats of Manipur, 73.89 on all two seats of Meghalaya, 54.23 on one seat of Mizoram, 56.91 on one seat of Nagaland, 52.43 on 12 seats of Rajasthan, 62.32 on all 39 seats of Tamil Nadu, one seat of Tripura. 80.84, 57.90 for eight seats in Uttar Pradesh, 59.02 on the only seat of Lakshadweep, 73.37 on the only seat of Puducherry, 53.77 on all five seats of Uttarakhand, 77.57 on three seats of West Bengal, 77.57 on the only seat of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. There was 56.87 percent voting on one seat and 65.08 percent voting on one seat in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Apart from this, 68.24 percent voting took place for Arunachal Pradesh Assembly and 68.04 percent voting took place for Sikkim Assembly. Talking about the by-elections, 56.68 percent voting took place in Wilvancode seat of Tamil Nadu and 67.81 percent voting took place in Ramnagar seat of Tripura. 10 states including Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tamil Nadu and Union Territories of Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep completed their voting process. 

Under the leadership of Chief Election Commissioner Rajeev Kumar and Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, the Commission continuously monitored the progress of voting in the first phase in all the constituencies in the Assembly. A state-of-the-art control room was set up at the headquarters for this purpose. Similar control rooms were set up at the state and district levels also. 

According to the Election Commission, successful results of efforts to ensure inclusive elections were visible in the scenes from polling stations today. Voters, especially from the vulnerable tribal groups, came to polling stations across the country jubilant to exercise their franchise. The Great Andamanese tribe from the Strait Islands in South Andaman also enthusiastically participated in the voting. In the Lok Sabha elections, people of 56 villages of Bastar cast their vote for the first time at the polling station built in their own village. In another example from Gadchiroli Chimur, Maharashtra, the local tribal dialect was used at the Hemalakasa booth, which included all the relevant information. Buddhist monks were seen smiling and pointing their fingers in a display of pride in Bodhgaya, Bihar.

Barring a few isolated incidents of violence in West Bengal and Manipur, voting is largely underway in a peaceful and orderly manner. Violent clashes between BJP and TMC workers and vandalism of their offices were reported at some places in Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. On the other hand, an incident of firing took place at Mairang center in Manipur, North-East. There was a clash between two groups here but there were no casualties. However, due to this clash, voting had to be stopped for an hour.

Barring isolated incidents, voting took place peacefully in Left Wing Extremism areas in Chhattisgarh. However, soldier Devendra Kumar, who was seriously injured in the UBGL cell explosion on the outskirts of Galkam polling station in Bijapur, died during treatment. In another incident, CRPF Assistant Commandant Manu HC was seriously injured in an IED blast while searching near Chehka polling station of Bhairamgarh police station area of ​​Bijapur. He has been admitted to Narayan Hospital in Raipur. His condition is said to be out of danger.

The Commission had laid special emphasis on turning voting into an enjoyable and memorable experience. Ensured minimum facilities like water, shed, toilets, ramps, support workers, wheelchairs and electricity are in place to ensure that every voter, including the elderly and persons with disabilities, can easily cast their vote. Adequate security forces were deployed to ensure free and fair voting. 41 helicopters, 84 special trains and about one lakh four-wheelers were deployed by the Commission.