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Elections

2024 Lok Sabha elections: Some interesting facts about Friday's first phase

IANS | April 18, 2024 05:11 PM

NEW DELHI: Over 16.63 crore voters in 1.87 lakh polling stations across the country will decide the fate of 1, 625 candidates in the first phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections on Friday.

Deploying over 18 lakh polling officials, the Election Commission of India (ECI) said that it has taken a "slew of decisive measures" for the peaceful and smooth conduct of the elections as Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu gave final touches to poll preparations at noon on Thursday.

While the remaining six phases of polls will continue till June 1 with around 97 crore voters lined up to exercise their right to franchise - the counting is scheduled for June 4.

Here are some facts detailed by the ECI about the first phase of polling:

- Polling for Phase-I of the General Elections 2024 will be held on April 19 for 102 Parliamentary Constituencies (PCs) in 21 States/UTs and 92 Assembly Constituencies in the State Assembly elections in Arunachal and Sikkim. It has the highest number of parliamentary constituencies among all phases.

- Voting begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. (closure of poll timings may differ PC-wise).

- Over 16.63 crore voters include 8.4 crore male; 8.23 crore female and 11, 371 third-gender.

- 35.67 lakh first-time voters are registered to exercise their right to franchise. Additionally, there are 3.51 crore young voters in the age group of 20-29 years.

- 41 helicopters, 84 special trains and nearly 1 lakh vehicles have been deployed to ferry polling and security personnel.

- Webcasting will be done in more than 50 per cent of the polling stations along with the deployment of micro observers in all polling stations.

- 361 observers have already reached their constituencies, days before the polls. They serve as the eyes and ears of the ECI to exercise utmost vigilance.

- A total of 4, 627 flying squads, 5, 208 statistics surveillance teams, 2, 028 video surveillance teams and 1, 255 video viewing teams are deployed to strictly and swiftly deal with any form of inducement of voters.

- A total of 1, 374 inter-state and 162 international border checkposts are keeping a strict vigil on any illicit flow of liquor, drugs, cash and freebies. Strict vigil is being maintained at sea and air route.

- There are over 14.14 lakh registered voters aged 85 plus and 13.89 lakh Persons with disabilities (PwD) in 102 PCs who have been provided the option to vote from the comfort of their homes. The optional Home Voting facility is already receiving tremendous appreciation and response.

- Those aged 85 plus and PwD voters, who decide to come to polling stations, will be provided with all facilities like pick and drop, signages, braille signage on EVM, volunteers. PwD voters can also book wheelchair facilities via ECI's Saksham App.

- Assured minimum facilities like water, shed, toilets, ramps, volunteers, wheelchairs, and electricity are in place to ensure that every voter, including the elderly and PwD, can cast their vote with ease.

- Model polling stations are being set up across the 102 PCs with local themes. More than 5, 000 polling stations will be completely managed by women including security staff at over 1, 000 polling stations by PwDs.

- The ECI has also provided 12 alternative documents other than Electors Photo Identification Card (EPIC) for identity verification at polling stations. If a voter is registered in the electoral roll, voting can be done by showing any of these documents.

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