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Phase 1 Lok Sabha Polls: 64% Voter Turnout Highlighted

The first leg of the 18th Lok Sabha elections kicked off on April 19, spanning 21 states and Union territories. A notable 64% voter turnout was recorded across the board. From Arunachal Pradesh to Puducherry, millions of voters, totalling over 16.63 crores, turned up at nearly 2 lakh polling stations to exercise their democratic rights.

Familiar faces like Nitin Gadkari and Kanimozhi, alongside newcomers like Gaurav Gogoi, stood for election. The ruling NDA sought to strengthen its mandate, and the opposition bloc eyed a resurgence.

Voter turnout varied widely among states, with Tripura boasting the highest at over 80%, while Bihar lagged at less than 49%. This drop in Bihar’s turnout compared to 2019 was mirrored in other states like Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.

In Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region, including constituencies like Nagpur and Ramtek, the turnout hovered around 56.54%, down from 2019 figures. Similarly, Madhya Pradesh saw a modest 66.44% turnout, slightly lower than the previous election.

While Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra saw moderate participation at 60.25% and 61.87%, respectively, West Bengal stood out with a robust 80.55% turnout.

Unfortunately, the elections were marred by violence in pockets of West Bengal and Manipur, underscoring the challenges of conducting peaceful polls. Despite these incidents, the Election Commission lauded the high enthusiasm and responsibility exhibited by voters nationwide.

Voter turnout until 9 pm revealed varying levels of engagement, with Tripura leading at 80.17% and Bihar trailing at 48.50%. The first phase encompassed diverse constituencies, reflecting India’s rich cultural tapestry.

The Election Commission, despite facing logistical hurdles and security concerns, expressed satisfaction with the overall conduct of polling. Citizens from all walks of life’s participation underscored the essence of democracy, demonstrating a deep-seated commitment to the electoral process.

In essence, the inaugural phase of the Lok Sabha elections witnessed a robust turnout, illustrating the democratic spirit of the Indian populace. Despite challenges, the electoral machinery persevered, laying the groundwork for subsequent phases leading up to the declaration of results on June 4.

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