Voting is underway in the first phase of general election. Polling is being held in 91 Parliamentary constituencies, spread over 18 states and two Union Territories. Simultaneous voting is also taking place to 175-member Andhra Pradesh Assembly, 32-seat Sikkim Assembly, 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly and for 28 of 147 Assembly seats in Odisha.
Voting started in most of the constituencies at 7 this morning and will conclude at 6 in the evening. However, in Left-Wing Extremism-affected areas and North Eastern States, timings vary.
All 25 parliamentary constituencies of Andhra Pradesh, 17 of Telangana, 8 in Uttar Pradesh, five each of Assam and Uttarakhand, four each in Bihar and Odisha, 2 each of Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, and one each of Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep are going to polls in this phase.
In Andhra Pradesh, prominent among those in the fray for Lok Sabha polls are V Kishore Chandra Deo, P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Galla Jayadev, Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, and Panabaka Lakshmi. Prominent faces among those in the fray for assembly elections are Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Y.S.R Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy.
In Uttar Pradesh, the Lok Sabha constituencies going to polls are Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Baghpat, Saharanpur, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor and Kairana. Three Union ministers- Gen V K Singh, Satyapal Singh and Mahesh Sharma are among the prominent candidates. Other notable figures include RLD chief Ajit Singh, BJP leader Sanjeev Balyan, Congress leader Imran Masood and Tabassum Begum from SP.
In Bihar, polling is being held in Naxal-affected Parliamentary constituencies of Gaya, Nawada, Jamui and Aurangabad. Former Chief Minister and head of Hindustani Awam Morcha Jitan Ram Manjhi and LJP leader Chirag Paswan are prominent figures in the first phase.
In Maharashtra, the key battle is in the high profile seat of Nagpur where from senior BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari is being challenged by former BJP MP Nana Patole who had switched to Congress. In Chandrapur Lok Sabha constituency, Shiv Sena rebel MLA Suresh Dhanorkar has taken on Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir.
Chief Minister of Maharshtra Devendra Fadnavis , Nagpur BJP Candidate and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Chandrapur BJP candidate and Union Minister Hansraj Ahir exercised their franchise.
In Chhattisgarh, voting is progressing in Maoist-affected Bastar constituency amidst tight security. Long queues were seen in front of polling booths. In the Maoist-affected four assembly constituencies of Bastar Lok sabha seat — Dantewada, Bijapur, Narayanpur and Konta — polling time is from 7 am to 3 pm. In the rest of the four assembly constituencies, polling time is from 7 am to 5 pm. In Jammu & Kashmir, voting is being held for Baramulla and Parliamentary constituencies.