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Lok Sabha Elections '24: Campaigning ends for first phase in 102 seats

New Delhi: Campaigning for 102 parliamentary constituencies distributed across 21 states and Union territories, where voting will be held in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections on April 19, concluded on Wednesday.

In the first phase, polling will be held in Arunachal Pradesh (2 seats), Assam (5), Bihar (4), Chhattisgarh (1), Madhya Pradesh (6), Maharashtra (5), Manipur (2), Meghalaya (2), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Rajasthan (12), Sikkim (1), Tamil Nadu (39), Tripura (1), Uttar Pradesh (8), Uttarakhand (5), West Bengal (3), Andaman and Nicobar (1), Jammu and Kashmir (1), Lakshadweep (1) and Puducherry (1).

Campaigning for the first phase of polling on April 19 in Uttar Pradesh concluded Wednesday evening, with candidates closing up their campaigns for eight parliamentary seats.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, both members of the opposition's INDIA bloc, held rallies in Saharanpur and Moradabad on the final day of the campaign.

The seats going to the polls in the first phase on Friday are Saharanpur, Bijnor, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Nagina, Moradabad, Rampur, and Pilibhit.

Likewise, campaigning drew to a close in Uttarakhand at 5 pm this evening, Chief Electoral Officer B VRC Purushottam said.

Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami participated in a roadshow in Haldwani on the last day of the election campaign, earlier on Wednesday.

After winning all five seats in Uttarakhand in the 2014 and 2019 general elections, the BJP is attempting to retain them for a third term.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the BJP's campaign, built around the development plank, in Madhya Pradesh for the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections that ended on Wednesday.

With the first phase scheduled for April 19, the fate of 88 candidates contesting six seats in the MP will be sealed by voters.

In Maharashtra, campaigning for Lok Sabha elections came to an end in five constituencies of the Vidarbha region on Wednesday evening.
Polling will be held in the constituencies of Nagpur, Ramtek, Bhandara-Gondia, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli in the first phase on April 19.

The campaigning in Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur parliamentary constituency ended on Wednesday evening. It is witnessing its first major electoral battle since the abrogation of Article 370.

The polling is slated for the Udhampur Lok Sabha seat in the first phase on April 19 and will decide the fate of 12 contestants.
Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Commissioner Saloni Rai said, "On April 17 at 6 pm, we suspended all election-related campaigning, and political parties have been directed to not hold campaigning, roadshows, or canvassing other than door-to-door campaigning."

"Section 144 is also imposed. Flying squad and static surveillance teams have been deployed. Our main objective is a free and fair and inducement-free election," said Rai.

Meanwhile, campaigning for three Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal - Cooch Behar (SC), Jalpaiguri (SC) and Alipurduars (ST) -- going to polls in the first phase on April 19 came to an end at 6 PM on Wednesday.

Altogether 14 candidates, including sitting MP and Union minister Nisith Pramanik, are contesting the parliamentary elections from Cooch Behar.

Verbal exchanges between main rivals Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress over issues such as corruption, poverty, and pre-poll promises dominated the campaigning for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections in Chhattisgarh, which concluded on Wednesday evening.

Naxal-affected Bastar is the only seat among the 11 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state that will vote in the first phase on April 19, an exercise that will take place in the shadow of the major counter-insurgency operation in Kanker district on April 16.

In Mizoram, the campaigning for the lone Lok Sabha seat ended on Wednesday with political parties making last ditch efforts to sweep the voters.

Campaigning for the April 19 simultaneous polls in Arunachal Pradesh came to an end on Wednesday evening, setting the stage to elect two Lok Sabha MPs and 50 lawmakers for the state assembly.

The BJP has already opened its account by securing 10 seats in the assembly in Arunachal.

Campaigning for five Lok Sabha constituencies in Assam, which are due to go for polling on April 19, including the high-profile constituency of Dibrugarh, ended on Wednesday.

The Lok Sabha poll campaigning for 2024, for the first phase of elections, ended at 5 pm on the five Lok Sabha seats in Assam, including the high-profile seat of Dibrugarh, where Union Minister and former Chief Minister of Assam are contesting.

The voting for the Lok Sabha election in the first phase is to be held across 21 states in 102 seats, including five seats in Upper Assam.

The campaign for the Tripura West Lok Sabha constituency and the Ramnagar Assembly constituency by-poll also ended at 5 pm on Wednesday.

All preparations, including security arrangements, have been made for the polling to be held on April 19, an election department official said.
Rallies, public meetings, and roadshows marked the two-week-long high-decibel campaign.

In the meantime, speaking on the preparations for Lok Sabha elections in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, South Andaman SP Niharika Bhatt says, "The election campaign will be banned from 6 PM today and no political gathering or street processions will be allowed, that's called the 'Silent' period.

"Only door-to-door campaigning will be allowed and that too without speakers. DC has also given orders regarding Section 144 to maintain law and order. Voting will start at 7 in the morning on April 19 and go until 6 p.m. A few pink polling booths have been established where all the officials will be women," said the official.

The 2024 general elections will be held in India in seven phases, from April 19 to June 1, to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha. The results will be announced on June 4. 

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