Voters Queue in Balurghat as India's 2024 Lok Sabha Elections Enter Second Phase

Voters in West Bengal's Balurghat cast ballots in the crucial second phase of India's 2024 Lok Sabha elections. High-profile candidates like Rahul Gandhi and Hema Malini are in the fray, with the outcome set to shape the country's political landscape.

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Voters Queue in Balurghat as India's 2024 Lok Sabha Elections Enter Second Phase

Voters Queue in Balurghat as India's 2024 Lok Sabha Elections Enter Second Phase

Voters in Balurghat, West Bengal, lined up to cast their ballots on Friday as the second phase of India's 2024 Lok Sabha elections commenced. The polling process is being closely monitored to ensure a free and fair election across the 88 constituencies in 12 states and one union territory participating in this phase.

Among the high-profile candidates in the fray are Rahul Gandhi and Shashi Tharoor of the Congress party, and Hema Malini of the BJP. A total of 1,202 candidates are contesting in this phase, with 158.8 million eligible voters, including 32.8 million young voters and 3.4 million first-time voters.

Why this matters: The second phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections is vital, with key states and candidates being watched closely. The outcome of these elections will shape the future of India's political landscape and determine the balance of power in the parliament.

The Election Commission has declared 98% of the polling stations in the three constituencies of northern West Bengal - Darjeeling, Balurghat, and Raiganj - as 'critical' and has deployed central forces to ensure smooth voting. In Balurghat, BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar is seeking re-election against TMC's Biplab Mitra.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to turn out in record numbers to vote, emphasizing the importance of a high voter turnout for strengthening democracy. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot expressed confidence that the INDIA alliance and the Congress party would win with a majority.

In the 2019 election, the NDA had won 56 of the 89 seats, while the UPA won 24. The first phase of the elections, held last Friday, saw a voter turnout of around 65.5%. Prominent personalities like Infosys founder Narayana Murthy and author Sudha Murty were among those who queued up to cast their votes in the second phase.

The counting of votes for all 543 Lok Sabha seats will take place on June 4. As the <a href="https://www.etvbharat.com/en/!bharat/2024-lok-sabha-election-phase-2-live-updates-rahul-gandhi-hema-malini-in-fray-april-

Key Takeaways

  • Phase 2 of 2024 Lok Sabha elections underway in 88 constituencies.
  • High-profile candidates include Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor, and Hema Malini.
  • Balurghat, West Bengal, has 280 critical polling stations with central forces deployed.
  • NDA won 56 of 89 seats in 2019, while UPA won 24.
  • Counting of votes for all 543 Lok Sabha seats on June 4.