NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday appealed the voters to turn out in record numbers to exercise their voting rights in the first phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha poll.
"2019 Lok Sabha elections commence today. I call upon all those whose constituencies are voting in the first phase today to turn out in record numbers and exercise their franchise. I specially urge young and first-time voters to vote in large numbers," the Prime Minister tweeted.
2019 Lok Sabha elections commence today.
I call upon all those whose constituencies are voting in the first phase today to turn out in record numbers and exercise their franchise.
I specially urge young and first-time voters to vote in large numbers.
— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 11, 2019
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat also appealed to voters to exercise their franchise. Bhagwat made the call after casting his vote in Nagpur at polling booth number 216. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari is BJP's candidate from Nagpur, while the Congress has fielded Nana Patole from this seat. "Voting is our duty, everyone should vote," Bhagwat told media.
Polling for 91 Lok Sabha constituencies in 18 states and two Union Territories started at 7 AM on Thursday amidst tight security.Among the constituencies going for polls in the first phase are - eight in Uttar Pradesh, five in Uttarakhand, four in Bihar, seven in Maharashtra, five in Assam, four in Odisha, two each in Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and West Bengal, and one each in Chhattisgarh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.
Over 14 crore voters will exercise their voting rights to decide the fate of 1279 candidates who are in the fray. More than 1 lakh polling booths have been set up across the country, the EC said in a statement issued on Wednesday. The EC added that 7764 third gender voters will also exercise their franchise in the first phase.
The polling for 543 Lok Sabha seats will take place in seven phases on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19 respectively. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.