General Elections 2024: Polling Begins In 21 States; Sadhguru, Dhanush, Kamal Haasan & Rajnikanth Cast Votes In Tamil Nadu

New Delhi: The first of the 7-phase exercise of voting for Lok Sabha elections 2024 began on Friday morning. Voting is being held in 102 seats across 21 states and Union Territories.

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The first phase of polls is being held on all seats of Tamil Nadu (39), Rajasthan (12), Uttar Pradesh (8), Madhya Pradesh (6), Uttarakhand (5), Arunachal Pradesh (2), Meghalaya (2), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Puducherry (1), Sikkim (1) and Lakshadweep (1). Besides, there are five seats each in Assam and Maharashtra, four in Bihar, three in West Bengal, two in Manipur, and one each in Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, and Chhattisgarh.

Taking to his X handle, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged voters, especially young and first-timers, to exercise their franchise in record numbers. “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,” he wrote.

According to reports, superstars Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, and Dhanush were mobbed by fans will casting their votes at polling stations in Chennai.

Spiritual guru and founder of the Isha Foundation, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, exercised his  franchise in Coimbatore. Tamil Nadu BJP chief and party’s candidate from Coimbatore constituency, K Annamalai, also cast his vote at a polling booth in Tamil Nadu’s Uthupatti, Karur.

At 9 am, two hours after polling began, Tamil Nadu had recorded 8.2 per cent turnout, Rajasthan 10.7 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 12.2 per cent and Madhya Pradesh 14.1 per cent. Lakshadweep recorded the lowest, 5.59% turnout, while Tripura had the highest, 15.21%. Jammu & Kashmir, 10.43% and Assam, 11.15% among other states and UTs.  Arunachal Pradesh & Sikkim recorded 6.44% & 7.90% voter turnout till 9 am, respectively.

Voter turnout till 11 am

Madhya Pradesh: 30.46%

Uttar Pradesh: 25.20%

Puducherry: 27.63%

Rajasthan: 22.51%

Uttarakhand: 24.83%

Andaman & Nicobar Islands: 21.82%

Arunachal Pradesh: 18.26%

Assam: 27.22%

Bihar: 20.42%

Chhattisgarh: 28.12%

J&K: 22.60%

Lakshadweep: 16.33%

Manipur: 27.64%

Meghalaya: 31.65%

Mizoram: 26.23%

Nagaland: 22.50%

Sikkim: 21.20%

Tamil Nadu: 23.72%

Tripura: 33.28%

achal Pradesh and Sikkim. 

Meanwhile, in Manipur, gunshots were fired near a polling booth. A 25-second video circulating online shows commotion and people shouting before two shots are heard in quick succession. A third shot is then heard, presumably in response to the first two. After this a volley of gunshots – possibly from an automatic weapon – is heard and the person filming the video ducks for cover behind a doorway. The rapid exchange of gunfire continues for 10 seconds before it stops, NDTV reported.

The Election Commission has deployed over 18 lakh polling personnel across 1.87 lakh polling stations where over 16.63 crore voters will exercise their franchise. The 16.63 voters include 8.4 crore men, 8.23 crore women and 11,371 third gender.

In addition to this, voting will also be held for 92 Assembly seats in the state elections in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

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