First Phase of 2024 Lok Sabha Elections to Kick Off on April 19

The 18th Lok Sabha elections in India kick off on April 19, 2024, with the BJP and opposition INDIA alliance vying for power. Key candidates and constituencies to watch as the high-stakes battle for India's political future unfolds.

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Bijay Laxmi
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First Phase of 2024 Lok Sabha Elections to Kick Off on April 19

First Phase of 2024 Lok Sabha Elections to Kick Off on April 19

The first phase of the 18th Lok Sabha elections in India will be held on April 19, 2024, covering 102 constituencies across 21 states and union territories. The elections will be conducted in seven phases over 44 days, with the counting of votes scheduled for June 4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a third consecutive term in office.

In the first phase, major states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand will be partially or fully covered. Voting will take place from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, with an additional one-hour buffer period for voters already in line. Schools and colleges in the affected areas will remain closed on April 19 to ease the voting process and ensure the safety of students.

Notable candidates in Phase 1 include Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari (Nagpur), Kiren Rijiju, Sarbananda Sonowal, Sanjeev Baliyan, Jitendra Singh, Arjun Ram Meghwal, and L. Murugan. Former chief ministers and governors are also in the fray, along with high-profile candidates such as Gaurav Gogoi, Biplab Kumar Deb, and Basanta Kumar Singh.

Key constituencies to watch include Chennai South, where former Telangana governor Tamilisai Soundararajan is contesting on a BJP ticket, and Chennai Central, where DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran is seeking re-election. In Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu BJP chief K. Annamalai is in the race, while Congress leader Karti Chidambaram is defending his Sivaganga seat.

The opposition INDIA alliance, which includes leaders like Mamata Banerjee, MK Stalin, Lalu Prasad Yadav, and Uddhav Thackeray, has been formed to challenge the BJP in the upcoming elections. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav claimed that the BJP has become a "warehouse of the corrupt" and that the INDIA alliance will wipe out the BJP from Ghaziabad to Ghazipur in the first phase.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi targeted the BJP and its ideological mentor RSS, accusing them of trying to destroy democracy. Gandhi also raised the issues of unemployment and poverty during a joint press conference with Akhilesh Yadav in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.

Why this matters:The 2024 Lok Sabha elections will determine the political terrain of India for the next five years. The outcome will have significant implications for the country's economic policies, social welfare programs, and international relations.

With the campaigning for the first phase coming to a close, both the BJP and the opposition parties are making their final push to woo voters. Prime Minister Modi is set to address rallies in Assam and Tripura, while Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh will also be holding public meetings. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have a full schedule of rallies and roadshows planned for the last day of campaigning.

Key Takeaways

  • Phase 1 of 2024 Lok Sabha elections in India on April 19, covering 102 constituencies.
  • PM Modi seeks third consecutive term, opposition INDIA alliance formed to challenge BJP.
  • Notable candidates include Union Ministers, former CMs, and high-profile regional leaders.
  • Key constituencies to watch include Chennai South, Coimbatore, and Sivaganga.
  • Campaigning concludes, with PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi, and other leaders holding rallies.