Lok Sabha polls begin with voting in 91 seats

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Shillong: Voters wait in a queue to cast their votes during Meghalaya Assembly elections in Shillong on Feb 27, 2018. A total of 18,09,818 electorates, including 9,13,702 women and 89,405 first-time voters are eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 361 candidates, including 31 women and many independents. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

Voting began on Thursday across 91 Lok Sabha constituencies spread over 20 states and Union Territories as the first phase of the mega seven-phase electoral exercise kicked off.

Voting for electing Assemblies in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha (first phase) also started along with polling for Lok Sabha constituencies. In these states, voters will cast two votes each.

In 10 states and two Union Territories — Andhra Pradesh (25), Telangana (17), Arunachal Pradesh (2), Meghalaya (2), Uttarakhand (5), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Sikkim (1), Lakshadweep (1), and Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1), voting is happening in all parliamentary constituencies.

Noida: Voters wait in a queue to cast their vote for the 1st phase of Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha polls in Sector 141 Noida on April 11, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Polling also started in eight out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, including Saharanpur, Kairana, Ghaziabad, Baghpat and Gautam Buddha Nagar, four – Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada and Jamui – out of 40 seats in Bihar and two – Cooch Behar and Alipurduar – out of 42 seats in West Bengal.

Of Maharashtra’s 48 constituencies, voting in the first phase is happening in seven constituencies of Vidharbha, with the focus on Nagpur — the headquarters of the RSS — and Chandrapur, the hometown of its chief Mohan Bhagwat.

In Telangana, key constituencies where voting started include Nizamabad, Nalgonda, Khammam and Hyderabad.

Voting also began in five constituencies in Assam, four in Odisha, two in Jammu and Kashmir (Jammu and Baramulla) and one each of Chhattisgarh (Bastar), Manipur (Outer Manipur), and Tripura (Tripura West).