Polling underway in 93 seats in India; PM Modi, Shah cast vote

NEW DELHI, May 7: Voting is progressing in 93 constituencies spread over 11 states and Union Territories on Tuesday in the third phase of the Lok Sabha polls, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah among the early voters.

Polling began at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm.

While PM Modi cast his vote at a polling booth in Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, Shah cast his vote at a polling booth in Ahmedabad.

In a post on X, Prime Minister Modi urged people to vote in record numbers and said their active participation will make the election more vibrant.

Modi, who is a registered voter from the Ranip area in Gandhinagar, also greeted people and signed autographs on his way to the polling booth in the Gujarat capital.

Shah, who is contesting to retain the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat, greeted his supporters, interacted with them and signed autographs at the polling booth. The senior BJP leader was accompanied by his wife Sonal Shah, son Jay Shah other family members as they exercised their franchise.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel also cast his vote at a polling booth in Ahmedabad and appealed to the people to exercise their franchise to make the country developed and prosperous.

Polling is being held in 25 of the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat and for by-polls in five assembly constituencies in the state.

As the voting for the third phase commenced, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra urged people to vote in large numbers, asserting that this was an election to protect democracy and the Constitution.

Over 1,300 candidates, including around 120 women, are in the fray in the third phase. Among the bigwigs are Union ministers Shah (Gandhinagar), Jyotiraditya Scindia (Guna), Mansukh Mandaviya (Porbandar), Parshottam Rupala (Rajkot), Pralhad Joshi (Dharwad) and SP Singh Baghel (Agra).

As many as 17.24 crore people, including 8.39 crore women, are eligible to vote and 1.85 lakh polling stations manned by 18.5 lakh officials have been set up.

Polling is being held in 11 seats in Maharashtra, 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh, the remaining 14 of the 28 in Karnataka, seven in Chhattisgarh, five in Bihar, four each in Assam and West Bengal, and all two in Goa.

Polling is also underway in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (2 seats) and nine seats in Madhya Pradesh, including Betul where elections were deferred,

Queues were seen at polling booths in most Lok Sabha segments in northern districts of Karnataka with voters, mostly senior citizens and morning walkers, lining up to cast their votes early, with temperature expected to rise as the day progresses.

Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and Bhagwanth Khuba, and Karnataka Minister Priyank Kharge were among those who came in early to cast their votes in Karnataka.

Former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa along with sons B Y Raghavendra, BJP candidate from Shimoga Lok Sabha segment and B Y Vijayendra, party’s state President — and daughters-in-law cast their vote at Shikaripura in Shivamogga district.

“Out of 28 Lok Sabha seats, according to me, we (BJP) are going to win at least 25 to 26 seats. The atmosphere is very good. Wherever we go people say, Modi, Modi, it is going to have its own effect,” Yediyurappa said after voting.

In Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, his wife Sunetra Pawar, who is the NCP candidate from the Baramati Lok Sabha seat, and NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar were among those who cast their votes.

Sharad Pawar was welcomed with a traditional ‘aarti’ as he arrived at a polling booth in the Malegaon area of the Baramati constituency in Pune district.

The veteran politician stood in a queue before casting his vote at the booth.

Ajit Pawar and Sunetra Pawar cast their votes at a polling booth in the Katewadi area of Baramati.

Talking to reporters after casting his vote, Ajit Pawar, the estranged nephew of Sharad Pawar, said he has been maintaining it is not a contest between family members, but the other side is propagating that it is about the family and trying to show they are together against him.

“I want to make it clear that the senior most family member in the Pawar family is my mother Ashatai Anantrao Pawar, who is with me and the three of us today exercised our voting right,” he said.

As polling started for the third phase, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Samajwadi President Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati appealed to the voters to come out and vote.

In his post on X, Adityanath said, “Today is the third phase of the great festival of democracy. Respected voters are appealed to definitely vote to give continuity to the concept of heritage and development and to fulfil the concept of ‘developed India’. Your one vote can contribute to establishing India as a world superpower. Remember – first vote, then refreshment.”

The SP chief asked voters to come out to vote to maintain democracy and the Constitution.

The BSP chief said, “We should not forget the resolution of ‘first vote, then refreshment’ and we should not lose this democratic opportunity of shaping our own future by voting while protecting our vote in every way.”

Voting was completed in 189 seats out of 543 seats in the first two phases. The next four phases will be on May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1. The counting of votes is on June 4.

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