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1202 candidates in fray for Phase II

Over 15.88 crore voters will be determining the fate of 1202 candidates in the second phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections…reports Asian Lite News

Over 15.88 crore voters will be determining the fate of 1202 candidates in the second phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections.

The second phase of polling will be held in 88 constituencies across 13 States/Union Territory. With weather conditions predicted to be within normal ranges, voters can cast their votes comfortably. For convenience for voters, meticulous arrangements have been made at all polling stations including facilities, to deal with hot weather conditions, according to the Election Commission.

The second phase of polling was to be held on 89 seats but it has been deferred to May 7 in Betul in Madhya Pradesh due to the death of the BSP candidate.

According to the ECI, over 15.88 crore voters will be voting in the second phase which includes 8.08 crore male electors, 7.8 crore female electors and 5929 third-gender electors.

A total of 4553 flying squads, 5731 static surveillance teams, 1462 video surveillance teams and 844 video viewing teams are keeping surveillance round the clock to strictly and swiftly deal with any form of inducement of voters across the 1.67 lakh polling stations, as per the ECI press note.

The ECI further said that webcasting will be done in more than 50 per cent of the polling stations along with deployment of micro-observers in all polling stations.

Key issues ranging from unemployment, violence against women, economic development, long-pending grievances of farmers, crisis funds and inflation were among the most highlighted across the country.

While, topics that led the debates in the country included Ram Temple, Sanatan Dharma, GST, Caste Census, OBCs and reservation, Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Five seats, namely Karimganj, Silchar, Mangaldoi, Nawgong and Kaliabor, out of the total 14 will go to polls in Assam on Friday.

The Chief Electoral Officer of Assam Anurag Goel on Thursday assured that sufficient commissioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPAT). He also requested the voters to be cautious of the “unnecessary narratives” about EVMs.

“The second phase of elections in Assam will be conducted in 5 parliamentary constituencies. 9,133 polling stations have been set up and more than 77 lakh voters are going to vote, almost equal number of males and females. We have done sufficient commissioning of EVMs and VVPATs. One thing that I would like to request the electors to be cautious about is the unnecessary narratives going around about EVMs,” the Chief Electoral Officer told ANI.

In Bihar, too five seats will be polling tomorrow out of the total 40, which are Kishanganj, Katihar, Purnia, Bhagalpur and Banka.

Kishanganj District Magistrate Tushar Singla urged the voters to participate in the “festival of democracy” and increase the voter turnout.

“All the EVM dispatch has been done. All the facilities have been ensured at every polling booth. The awareness programs have been conducted for the voters. We expect the voters to participate in the festival of democracy and increase our voter turnout,” Tushar Singla told ANI on Thursday.

As per the ECI press note, polling time in many polling stations in Banka, Madhepura, Khagaria and Munger constituencies in Bihar extended till 6 pm to facilitate voters in hot weather conditions.

Three seats namely Rajnandgaon, Mahasamund and Kanker out of the total 11 will be voting tomorrow in Chhattisgarh

On poll preparations, Rajnandgaon IGP Incharge, Deepak Jha said, “There are four districts in Rajnandgaon Lok Sabha constituency. Forces have come in according to the demand of the four districts. 60 companies of CAPF, paramilitary and we have also received forces from Madhya Pradesh. They have all been deployed.”

The polling is held in a single seat each in Manipur, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir in the second phase.

Ahead of the polling, a Mega Voter Awareness Program under SVEEP (Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation) was organized at Tulip Garden in Srinagar on Wednesday. The awareness program aimed to educate citizens about the importance of voting, voter registration processes, and electoral participation.

On arrangements for Lok Sabha elections, Kengoo Zuringla, Ukhrul District Collector in Manipur said, “We are getting all the polling personnel ready and we are distributing their EVMs. We are distributing their polling materials. We already have the security arrangements for them.”

“We are very happy that our Ukhrul district is able to conduct such exercise to ensure that every person, every citizen of our country has the right to express, to be able to choose a leader which is of their own desire. So, this time, we have four candidates from the outer Manipur parliamentary constituency. A total of 145 polling stations are there in the Ukhrul district,” she said.

Out of the total 28 seats, 14 seats will go to the polls in Karnataka on Friday namely Udupi Chikamagalur, Hassan, Dakshina Kannada, Chitradurga, Tumkur, Mandya, Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Bangalore Rural, Bangalore North, Bangalore Central, Bangalore South, Chikballapur and Kolar.

While all 20 seats will voting in the second phase in Kerala. These include Kasaragod, Kannur, Vatakara, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Ponnani, Palakkad, Alathur, Thrissur, Chalakudy, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Mavelikkara, Pathanamthitta, Kollam, Attingal and Thiruvananthapuram.

On preparation for the Lok Sabha elections, Kerala Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay Kaul said, “We have 25,231 polling booths which are ready to welcome all the voters tomorrow morning at 7 am. 70 per cent of the polling parties have reached the booths today.”

“We have made elaborate arrangements for the comfort of the voters who come there. There will be an orderly queue management system. We will have volunteers managing the queues. There will be separate queues for elderly people. There is drinking water and toilet facilities. For our friends who are physically challenged, we have ramps on all the booths. We have wheelchairs,” he said.

“We are ready as far as security is concerned. Police forces also have been deployed. There are about 1700 vulnerable and critical booths spread across all the statistics in the state. Vulnerable and critical booths, we have special facilities. We have cameras both inside and outside the booth and also central paramilitary forces deployed,” the Chief Electoral Officer added.

In Madhya Pradesh, out of the 29 seats, six will be voting in the second phase namely, Tikamgarh, Damoh, Khajuraho, Satna, Rewa and Hoshangabad.

On the preparations, Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Anupam Rajan said, “There are polls in 6 constituencies tomorrow. There are around 13,000 polling booths. 1 crore 11 lakh voters will cast their votes. Looking at the heat, there are sheds, water, waiting rooms and chair facilities. Around 2500 booths fall in the category of sensitive. We have made special arrangements for them. More security forces have been deployed there.”

Out of the 48 seats, voting will be held in eight seats in Maharashtra in the second phase. Buldhana, Akola, Amravati (SC), Wardha, Yavatmal-Washim, Hingoli, Nanded and Parbhani will go to the polls tomorrow.

13 seats namely Tonk-Sawai Madhopur, Ajmer, Pali, Jodhpur, Barmer, Jalore, Udaipur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Kota and Jhalawar-Baran out of the total 13 seats in Rajasthan, eight out of the total 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh, namely Amroha, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Aligarh, Mathura and Bulandshahr will go to the polls on Friday.

While voting will be held in three seats namely Darjeeling, Raiganj and Balurghat in West Bengal. There are a total of 42 seats in the state.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 61 of the 88 seats that will go to polls in the second phase.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) won 24 seats and other parties namely, BSP , CPM and NPF won 3 seats.

Voting will begin at 7 am tomorrow and will conclude at 6 pm. The Lok Sabha election is being held in seven phases till June 1 and votes will be counted on June 4. (ANI)

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