Polling starts in 124 constituencies amid tight security

The grand electoral process for the Lok Sabha has begun on Thursday morning as 124 constituencies spread over 15 states and two Union Territories have begun casting their votes in the first phase of polls.

Amid widespread apprehensions of terrorists trying to disrupt the election process, there has been unprecedented levels of security in all states where elections are on. Naxalites on the other hand have called for a boycott of the elections. 

Among those who are in the fray for the first round of polling, include Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad, Praful Patel, Jaipal Reddy and Renuka Chowdhury. The first phase is very crucial and the toughest from the security point of view as many Naxal-hit constituencies in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar along with parts of North-East and Jammu and Kashmir are going to polls.

States going to polls include Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jammu and , Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Maghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, UP, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshdweep.

The other important candidates in fray in the first phase include senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former union minister Murli Manohar Joshi, Telangana Rashtra Samithi's (TRS) K Chandrasekhar Rao, actor Vijayasanthi, NTR's daughter D Purandeswari and former union minister B Dattatreya. 

While all 20 seats in Kerala, 11 in Chhattisgarh and two in Meghalaya would go to polls in a single phase on Wednesday, polling would be held in 13 out of 40 seats in Bihar, 16 out of 80 in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra 13 (48), Andhra Pradesh 22 (42), Jharkhand six (14), Orissa 10 (21), Assam three (14), Arunachal Pradesh two (two), Manipur one (two) and Jammu and Kashmir one (six).

The lone seats in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Mizoram and Nagaland would also be covered.


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