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Voting begins in fifth phase of Lok Sabha polls, several bigwigs in fray

20 May, 2024 07:10 IST|Sakshi Post

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) Voters in 49 Lok Sabha seats in eight states/UTs, spanning Ladakh to Odisha, and UP's Awadh and Bundelkhand to bustling Mumbai and its surroundings, began heading to polling stations on Monday to exercise their franchise in the fifth phase.

Union Ministers Rajnath Singh (Lucknow), Piyush Goyal (Mumbai North), and Smriti Irani (Amethi), Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (Raebareli) and National Conference's Omar Abdullah (Baramulla) are among the 695 candidates in the fray.

The seats in the fifth phase include five each in Bihar and Odisha, three in Jharkhand, 13 in Maharashtra, 14 in UP, seven in West Bengal, and one each in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Voting for 35 seats of the Odisha Assembly will also be held in the state's second phase of simultaneous polling.

According to the Election Commission, around 9.47 lakh polling officials have been deployed to facilitate balloting by 8.95 crore voters - 4.69 crore males, 4.26 crore females and 5,409 third-gender - across 94,732 polling stations.

"Polling stations are ready to welcome the voters with ample shade, drinking water, ramps, toilets and other basic facilities to ensure that polling takes place in a comfortable and secure environment. The concerned CEOs/DEOs and State machineries have been advised to take adequate measures to manage hot weather conditions in areas, where it is forecast," the EC said in a statement.

While the fifth phase has the least number of seats in all the phases, most of these are high-profile seats from where top Union Ministers and leaders of national and regional parties are contesting.

Other prominent leaders in this phase are Shiv Sena's Shrikant Shinde, son of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, from Kalyan, former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's son Karan Bhushan Singh in UP's Kaiserganj, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav's daughter Rohini Acharya against BJP's Rajiv Pratap Rudy in Saran, Lok Janshakti Party-Ram Vilas chief Chirag Paswan fighting from his father's bastion, Hajipur-SC (both Bihar), and Trinamool Congress candidate and TV anchor Rachna Banerjee versus actress-turned-politician Locket Chatterjee of the BJP in West Bengal's Hooghly.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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