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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Prez, PM urge voters, especially young to exercise franchise in record numbers


President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged young voters to exercise their franchise in record numbers as the first phase of Lok Sabha elections began.

Stressing the importance of participation in shaping the future of the country, President Murmu appealed to all, especially first-time voters, to seize this moment of empowerment.

The President said India is not just the largest democracy but the mother of democracy.

In a social media post on X, “The 2024 Lok Sabha elections commence today! As 102 seats across 21 States and UTs go to the polls, I urge all those voting in these seats to exercise their franchise in record numbers.”

” I particularly call upon the young and first time voters to vote in large numbers. After all, every vote counts, and every voice matters,” he wrote on X.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar has also appealed to people to vote in the Lok Sabha polls beginning Friday.

Speaking to the media, Rajiv Kumar said, “Today is the day of voting, and a large number of security and non-security measures are in place.”

He said, “The Election Commission is welcoming everyone to polling stations, and people must come and vote. More than 16 crore voter slips have been distributed in Phase I of Lok Sabha polls.’

On internally displaced voters in Manipur, the Chief Election Commissioner said the poll body has made a special scheme in the camps so that people there can vote today.

He said that over 18 thousand people have registered with the Commission for voting in the camps, and the focus of the Commission is that nobody is disenfranchised.

Voting is taking place in a total of 102 parliamentary constituencies, which include 11 Lok Sabha seats reserved for ST and 18 seats reserved for SC. These constituencies are spread over 17 states and four Union Territories. A total of 1,625 candidates are in the fray in this phase.

The states include Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Meghalaya.

The BJP leaders who are contesting in this phase include Nitin Gadkari, Sarbananda Sonowal, Kiren Rijiju, Dr Jitendra Singh, Sanjeev Balyan, and Tamilisai Soundararajan Jitin Prasada.

The Congress leaders, including Gaurav Gogoi, Karti Chidambaram, and Nakul Nath, and DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran, are prominent faces whose political fate will be sealed in this phase.

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