Kejriwal appeals to voters to exercise franchise to end “dictatorship”

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New Delhi [India]: As the voting in the seventh and final phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha election began on Saturday, Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the voters to exercise their franchise in large numbers “to protect democracy and the Constitution.”

“In this great festival of democracy, the country will vote in the last phase today. All of you are requested to exercise your right to vote in large numbers to protect democracy and the Constitution,” Kejriwal posted on X. “Go to vote yourself and take your neighbours along with you. Dictatorship will lose, and democracy will win,” he added.

The AAP chief has been on bail in a money laundering case linked to the Delhi government’s now-scrapped excise policy. The Supreme Court had on May 10 granted 21-day interim bail to the chief minister to enable him to campaign during the Lok Sabha polls. The court had directed him to surrender on June 2, a day after the last phase of the Lok Sabha election.

After getting the bail, Kejriwal campaigned across the country extensively, attacking the BJP-led Union government and accusing it of being dictatorial and wanting to crush Opposton misusing central investigative agencies. In the last phase of the election, voting is being held in 57 parliamentary constituencies across eight states and the Union Territories including Bihar, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.

The 57 Lok Sabha seats include 41 general category seats, three reserved for Scheduled Tribes, and 13 for Scheduled Castes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among the 906 candidates in the fray in this phase, during which 10.06 crore electors are eligible to cast their votes.

Of the seats at stake, the BJP had bagged 25 in 2019, while the Congress won eight, and the Trinamool Congress won nine. The Biju Janata Dal won four seats and the Janata Dal (United) won three; the Bahujan Samajwadi Party, Apna Dal, and Akali Dal won two seats; and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Aam Aadmi Party each snagged a single seat.

Over the last six phases, voting has been completed in 486 Lok Sabha seats across 28 States and Union Territories.
Today, the voting is taking place in the remaining 42 Assembly constituencies of the Odisha State Legislative Assembly. The counting of the votes polled is scheduled to take place on June 4 when the results will be known.

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