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All arrangements in place for 1st phase of Lok Sabha polls

These include 25 constituencies in Andhra Pradesh, eight in Uttar Pradesh; seven in  Maharashtra; five each in Uttarakhand and Assam; four each in Bihar and Odisha; two each in Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and West Bengal; and one each in Chhattisgarh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep.

Simultaneously, voting will also take place for single phase Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and for 28 of 147 seats in Odisha. 

In Uttar Pradesh, polling on Thursday will decide the electoral fate of 96 candidates, including 4 Union Ministers VK Singh, Sanjeev Baliyaan, Satyapal Singh and Mahesh Sharma, RLD leaders Ajit Singh and Jayant Chaudhry and Imran Masood from Congress. 

Security forces held flag marches in sensitive pockets while liquor shops are closed till the end of the polling. Interstate borders with Delhi, Haryana and Uttarakhand have been sealed along these the constituencies. 

In Uttarakhand, BJP and Congress are in a straight contest for five Lok Sabha seats. 52 candidates are in the fray including Union Minister Ajay Tamta from the reserved seat of Almora and Congress General Secretary Harish Rawat from Nainital. 

In West Bengal, elections will be held in Cooch Behar and Alipurduar Parliamentary constituencies. The State Election Department has taken all necessary measures to ensure free and fair voting. 

Security personnel have already taken positions for confidence-building measures and the safety and security of voters and poll workers. Altogether 18 candidates are in the fray for the 2 Seats. 

The Commission on Tuesday transferred the Superintendent of Police of Cooch Behar District Abhishek Gupta and posted Amit Kumar Singh in his place. Special Police observer Vivek Dubey will visit the district on Wednesday to take stock of the security-related situation. 

In Odisha, elections will be held for four Lok Sabha and 28 Assembly segments. Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar said more than 60 lakh three thousand voters will exercise their franchise in this phase.  In Bihar, 44 candidates are in the fray for this phase.

In Assam, 75 lakh voters will decide the political fate of the 41 candidates including 2 women in the first phase. Prominent faces include former minister Pawan Singh Ghatowar and Gaurav Gogoi from the Congress, Pradan Baruah and Rameshwar Teli from the BJP and Asom Gana Parishad’s Moni Madhav Mahanta.

In Mizoram, six candidates are in the race for the lone Lok Sabha seat. 13 candidates are in the fray for West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency. 

In Telangana, election authorities are making last minute preparations for tomorrow’s polling. In Nizamabad, where 185 candidates are in the contest, additional poll staff and hundreds of engineers have been pressed into service. 

Over 2 crore 97 lakh electors will exercise their franchise. In Andhra Pradesh, elections for 175 member state Assembly will take place along with Lok Sabha polls on Thursday. About 10 Lakh new voters will vote for the first time in the state.

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