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BSP President Mayawati casts vote in Lucknow, says she is hopeful of change

Lucknow: As voting for the fifth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections 2024 began on Monday morning across 49 parliamentary constituencies Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief and former Chief Minister Mayawati cast her vote in Lucknow and urged all political parties to prioritise the issues of development and the welfare of the people while interacting with media.
She was among the first political leaders to cast her vote in Lucknow. Mayawati reached the polling booth at 7 a.m.
"I appeal to everyone to come out and cast their votes...I request all political parties to prioritise the issues of development and the welfare of the people. Whether it is the BJP or Congress, all the parties say that they are forming the Govt but everything will be clear when the results are announced," said Mayawati.
On being asked if there will be a change in this election, former Uttar Pradesh CM and BSP chief Mayawati said, "I am hopeful that there will be a change (in power) this time. I can sense that the public is silent and they are seeing all of this..."
The BSP has not aligned with any party for these elections. In the 2019 Lok Sabha Polls, the party had joined hands with the Samajwadi party.
The voting started at 7 am and will continue until 6 pm, with those in line by the closing time still allowed to vote.
According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), polling for 35 assembly constituencies of the Odisha legislative assembly will also take place simultaneously on Monday. As per the ECI, over 8.95 crore voters, including 4.69 crore males, 4.26 crore females, and 5409 third-gender electors, will decide the fate of 695 candidates in the fifth phase of voting.
The fifth phase will witness key contests in various constituencies. Leaders such as Rahul Gandhi, BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Piyush Goyal, Ujjwal Nikam, Karan Bhushan Singh, LJP (Ramvilas) chief Chirag Paswan, JKNC chief Omar Abdullah, and RJD leader Rohini Acharya are looking for electoral success. Eight states/UTs going for polls in phase 5 are: Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
Cities like Mumbai, Thane, and Lucknow are going to the polls in this phase, which has in the past suffered from urban apathy in voting. The commission especially calls upon these city dwellers to erase the stigma by turning out in higher numbers.
Of the 49 Lok Sabha seats, 14 are from Uttar Pradesh, 13 from Maharashtra, 7 from West Bengal, 5 from Bihar, 3 from Jharkhand, 5 from Odisha, and one each from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. In a bid to create a peaceful atmosphere for the electors, a total of 2,000 flying squads, 2105 static surveillance teams, 881 video surveillance teams, and 502 video viewing teams are keeping surveillance round the clock across the 94,732 polling stations.

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