Polling underway for phase 6 of LS polls on 58 seats

New Delhi, May 25 (UNI) Displaying oodles of excitement, Indian citizens lined up outside the polling booths, as voting began at 7 am for 58 seats stretched over six states and two Union Territories, including the national capital Delhi in the sixth and penultimate phase of the staggered Lok Sabha election on Saturday.

A celebratory mood prevailed, as many of the voters, particularly the young and first timers, turned up in their immaculate best to participate in the festival of democracy for electing a new Central government and the 18th Lok Sabha – the Lower House of India’s bi-cameral parliament.

The electoral fate of a number of political big guns of various parties will be sealed by the end of the day with over 11.13 crore people – 5.84 crore male; 5.29 crore female and 5,120 third gender electors – choose from a pool of 889 candidates across 1.14 lakh polling stations.

Among those in the fray for the BJP are Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Maneka Gandhi, former Hayana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, party spokesman Sambit Patra, late External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s daughter Bansuri Swaraj and actor-turned-politician Manoj Tiwari.

The star Congress candidates include Deepender Singh Hooda, Kumari Selja, Raj Babbar and Kanhaiya Kumar. The heavyweight list also includes Samajwadi Party leader Dharmendra Yadav and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti,

The states voting in this phase are Bihar (8 seats), Haryana (all 10 seats), Jharkhand (4 seats),, Odisha (6 seats), Uttar Pradesh (14 seats) and West Bengal (8 seats).

Completing the list are the two Union Territories — Delhi (all 7 seats) and Jammu and Kashmir (one seat) will also vote.

The election to the Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency of Jammu and Kashmir, deferred from May 7 following logistical, communication, and natural,l barriers related to connectivity, is being held in this phase.

Polling for 42 constituencies of the Odisha Assembly in the third phase of election for the state is also taking place on Saturday.

While the voting would officially come to an end at 6 pm, all those in the queue at the closing time will be allowed to vote.

Altogether 184 Observers, 2,222 Flying Squads, 2,295 Static Surveillance Teams, 819 Video Surveillance Teams and 569 Video Viewing Teams are keeping a close watch round the clock to ensure the polls are free and fair.

Besides, there are 257 international border check posts and 927 inter-state border check posts for keeping a strict vigil on any illicit flow of liquor, drugs, cash and freebies. Strict surveillance has been kept at sea and air routes, the ECI said.

According to the Commission, there are over 8.93 lakh registered over 85 years old, 23,659 voters above 100 years and 9.58 lakh PwD voters for this phase who have been provided the option to vote from the comfort of their home

So far polling for 428 Lok Sabha constituencies have been completed in five phases. The polls were held on April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13 and May 20.

Polling for the last phase covering the remaining 57 seats will be conducted on June 1.

The votes for all the phases will be counted on June 4.

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