[Watch] Phase 5 Voting Begins In 49 Seats; Akshay Kumar Casts First Vote As Indian Citizen

New Delhi: Voting for the fifth of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections 2024 began this morning at 7 am in 49 constituencies across eight states and union territories to decide the fate of 695 candidates. This is the smallest phase in terms of the number of constituencies for which the voting will take place. Polling for 35 assembly constituencies of the Odisha Legislative Assembly will also take place simultaneously on Monday.

The states and union territories where the elections will be held in the 5th phase are Jharkhand (3), Odisha (5), Uttar Pradesh (14), Bihar (5), Maharashtra (13), West Bengal (7), Ladakh (1) and, Jammu and Kashmir (1). When the voting closes in 49 constituencies on Monday, 428 of the Lok Sabha’s 543 seats will have gone to polls in the elections that began on April 19.Key candidates in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls 2024 are Rahul Gandhi of the Congress, BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Piyush Goyal, Ujjwal Nikam, Karan Bhushan Singh, LJP (Ramvilas) chief Chirag Paswan, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference’s Omar Abdullah, and Rastriya Janata Dal leader Rohini Acharya.Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, actor-director Farhan Akhtar, The Archies director Zoya Akhtar and industrialist Anil Ambani were among the early voters in Mumbai on Monday. Polling across all the six Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai– Mumbai North, Mumbai North Central, Mumbai North West, Mumbai North East, Mumbai South and Mumbai South Central– is currently underway.

Soon after voting, Akshay Kumar and Farhan Akhtar urged the young voters to cast their vote to whoever they deem suitable. “I want my country remains strong and keeps growing and I have voted keeping it in mind. And more people should come to cast their vote to whoever they deem suitable,” Kumar said.

“My vote is for good governance, the government that looks after all people. Please step out and vote,” actor-director Farhan Akhtar said.
Actor Rajkummar Rao, who will be seen opposite Janhvi Kapoor in the upcoming film Mr & Mrs Mahi, also cast his vote early in the morning. Rao is also among the many celebrities chosen by the Election Commission of India (ECI) as national icons to promote voting awareness in the country.
Soon after casting his vote, Rao told news agency ANI: “It is a big responsibility towards our country, we should vote. Through us, if people can get influenced then of course that’s the biggest thing that we can do to make people aware of the importance of voting.” Janhvi Kapoor, Sanya Malhotra, and wrestler Sangram Singh were also among the early birds when it came to voting.
Piyush Goyal also appealed to voters to vote in large numbers. “Democracy is being celebrated today in Mumbai and other states of the country. I appeal to people to participate in this festival and make it successful,” Goyal said.

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