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Tripura, West Bengal lead in Lok Sabha poll voter turnout at 3 pm; moderate polling in Bihar, Rajasthan

New Delhi: Parliamentary seats in northeastern states and West Bengal recorded high voter turnout till 3 pm in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls on Friday with polling percentage also picking up in constituencies in some other states and union territories which went to the polls.

Polling percentage was relatively less in Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand.

Voting is being held in 102 seats in the first phase of Lok Sabha election.

Voting for India's parliamentary election, the largest democratic exercise in the world, began at 7 am with Election Commission urging people to exercise their franchise in maximum number.

Of the 102 seats going to the polls on Friday, BJP-led National Democratic Alliance had won 43 seats and parties in INDIA bloc 48 seats in 2019 election. While the BJP-led NDA is seeking third consecutive term in office under leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the INDIA bloc is hoping to oust it from power.

Polling is being held in 21 states and union territories in the first phase. These are - Arunachal Pradesh (two seats), Assam (five), Bihar (four), Chhattisgarh (one), Madhya Pradesh (six), Maharashtra (five), Manipur (two), Meghalaya (two), Mizoram (one), Nagaland (one), Rajasthan (12), Sikkim (one), Tamil Nadu (39), Tripura (one), Uttar Pradesh (eight), Uttarakhand (five), West Bengal (three), Andaman and Nicobar (one), Jammu and Kashmir (one), Lakshadweep (one) and Puducherry (one).

According to Election Commission data at 3 pm, Tripura, which saw brisk polling in the initial hours, continued to maintain its lead with 68.35 poll percentage. It was 55.58 per cent for Arunachal Pradesh, Assam (60.70), Chhattisgarh (58.14), Jammu and Kashmir (57.09), Madhya Pradesh (53.40) Manipur (63.03), Meghalaya (61.95), Mizoram (49.97), Nagaland (53.38), Puducherry (58.86), Sikkim (52.72). Seats in West Bengal also witnessed a high voting percentage of 66. 34 per cent.

In seats in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, 47.44 per cent voters had cast their ballot by 3 pm.

In Tamil Nadu, where all 39 Lok Sabha seats are going to the polls, voting percentage was 51.18 per cent till 3pm. In Uttarakhand, where polling is being held on all five parliamentary seats, the voting percentage was 45.62 per cent.

The polling percentage was relatively low till 3 pm in Bihar (39.73 pc), Andaman and Nicobar islands recorded (45.48 pc), Lakshadweep (43.98), Maharashtra (44.12), Rajasthan (41.51).

Polling is also being held on Friday for assembly polls in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

According to Election Commission data at 3 pm, it was 56.19 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh and 52.73 per cent in Sikkim.

Polling will be completed in a single phase today in Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Meghalaya, Uttarakhand and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

In Bihar, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh, voting will take place across all seven phases starting April 19.

The poll schedule was announced by the Election Commission on March 16. Bypolls to 26 assembly constituencies will also be held alongside the Lok Sabha and four state assembly polls.

Voting for bypolls is being held in the Ramnagar seat in Tripura and the Vilavancode seat in Tamil Nadu today.

The first phase has the highest number of parliamentary constituencies among all phases.

An estimated 8.4 crore male voters, 8.23 crore female voters and 11,371 third gender electors are eligible to vote in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls.

The Lok Sabha polls 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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