Voting ends for 102 seats in Phase 1; Northeast sees high participation

New Delhi: TheĀ first phase of Lok Sabha elections concluded at 6 pm on Friday, marking the commencement of the world’s largest democratic exercise. With a staggering 970 million eligible voters, this monumental election is set for a long and winding path across 44 days before culminating in the seventh phase on June 1.

The biggest chunk of seats in the first phase are from Tamil Nadu, where all 39 seats go to the polls.

Top leaders from Tamil Nadu whose fortunes will be decided on Friday include the DMK’s Kanimozhi (Thoothukudi), Dayanidhi Maran (Chennai Central), TR Baalu (Sriperumbudur) and BJP’s K Annamalai (Coimbatore).

Among the prominent leaders trying their luck in phase one are Union ministers Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur, Kiren Rijiju from Arunachal Pradesh (West), and Arjun Ram Meghwal from Bikaner.

Polling is being held for all seats of Tamil Nadu (39), Uttarakhand (5), Arunachal Pradesh (2), Meghalaya (2), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Puducherry (1), Sikkim (1) and Lakshadweep (1).

Besides, voting is underway in 12 seats in Rajasthan, eight in Uttar Pradesh, six in Madhya Pradesh, five seats each in Assam and Maharashtra, four in Bihar, three in West Bengal, two in Manipur, and one seat each in Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, and Chhattisgarh.

Polling began at 7 AM and will end at 6 PM.

Simultaneously, assembly elections are being held in Arunachal Pradesh (60 seats) and Sikkim (32 seats).

The Election Commission has deployed over 18 lakh polling personnel across 1.87 lakh polling stations.