LS poll: BJP leader Jitendra Singh arrives at polling booth in J&K’s Kathua to cast vote

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Kathua (Jammu and Kashmir): Union Minister and Udhampur constituency BJP candidate Dr Jitendra Singh arrives at a polling booth in Kathua to cast his vote. Union Minister Jitendra Singh is fighting against Congress’ Choudhary Lal Singh for the Udhampur Lok Sabha seat.

Congress candidate from Udhampur, Chaudhary Lal Singh, also casts his vote for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections at polling booth number 63 in Kathua. While speaking to the media Chaudhary Lal Singh said, “People will simply vote against the sitting MP.”

Elections are being held in Jammu and Kashmir for the first time since the abrogation of Article 370, which revoked the state’s special constitutional privileges. Voting for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024 began on Friday across 102 parliamentary constituencies spread over 21 states and Union Territories as the mega seven-phase electoral exercise commenced at 7:00 am. Voters will exercise their franchise until 6:00 pm.

The 2024 elections are taking place at a time when opposition leaders, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, have been arrested on charges of corruption in the liquor policy case. The opposition has alleged that they have been denied a level playing field, a charge denied by the ruling BJP. The Congress party also alleged that income tax authorities froze their accounts weeks before the elections and blamed the ruling party at the Centre.
A total of 16.63 crore voters are going to vote in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls, deciding the fate of 1625 candidates.

According to the data released by the Election Commission of India (ECI), a total of 1.87 lakh polling stations have been set up, while 18 lakh personnel have been deployed across the 102 constituencies going to the polls.
The first phase, with the highest number of parliamentary constituencies among all seven phases, will witness polling in 21 states and Union Territories.

An estimated 8.4 crore male voters, 8.23 crore female voters, and 11,371 third-gender electors are eligible to vote in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls, according to the ECI data. The second phase will be held on April 26 and the remaining phases will be May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1 accordingly. The last general elections in 2019 were also held in seven phases.

The poll schedule was announced by the Election Commission of India on March 16. Bye-elections to 26 assembly constituencies will also be held alongside the Lok Sabha and four state assembly polls.

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