Fifth Phase: Voting Begins in 49 Lok Sabha Seats

Voting is underway in 49 constituencies across six states and two Union Territories in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections on Monday. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge urged citizens to vote for love, not hatred, and to cast their ballots against unemployment and inflation.

Polling began at 7 am and will continue until 6 pm. Among the early voters were Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das, BSP chief Mayawati, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran, Union Minister Piyush Goyal, and industrialist Anil Ambani. “I urge all voters to participate; this is a right in our parliamentary democracy,” Das said after voting in south Mumbai.

Mumbai polling booths saw a good turnout with Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar, Farhan Akhtar, Rajkummar Rao, and Jahnvi Kapoor among the early voters. “I want my India to be developed and strong,” Akshay Kumar said after voting in Juhu. Farhan Akhtar, in Bandra West, emphasized, “My vote is for good governance that benefits all people.”

Congress leaders, including Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, urged voters to turn out in large numbers. Kharge posted on X, “Vote for love and brotherhood, not for hatred. Vote against unemployment and inflation, not to enrich a few capitalists.”

Rahul Gandhi highlighted a “storm of change” in the country, urging voters to come out for their rights and India’s progress. Voting commenced peacefully in West Bengal, where the Election Commission removed a BSF jawan from duty in Uluberia following a molestation complaint.

Today’s voting will decide the fate of prominent leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani, and former J-K chief minister Omar Abdullah. Over 8.95 crore voters, including 4.26 crore women and 5,409 third-gender electors, are eligible to vote at 94,732 polling stations.

This round includes 13 seats in Maharashtra, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, seven in West Bengal, five in Bihar, three in Jharkhand, five in Odisha, one in J-K, and the lone seat in Ladakh. Voting is also being held in 35 assembly constituencies in Odisha, where BJD President and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is a candidate.

Polling for 23 states and Union Territories and 379 seats has been completed so far. The sixth and seventh phases are on May 25 and June 1, respectively, with counting on June 4.

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