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India General Elections 2024

The fourth phase of the highly anticipated Lok Sabha elections, held on May 13, 2024, saw an encouraging voter turnout of 64.60% across 96 constituencies spread over 10 states and union territories. However, the day was not without its share of challenges, with incidents of violence and Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) malfunctioning reported from some states.

Among the highlights of the voting day was the highest voter turnout of 76.89% recorded in West Bengal, despite clashes between workers of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in certain areas. The state witnessed several high-profile contests, including those in Krishnagar, Baharampur, and Asansol.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary constituency of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir, experiencing its first elections since the abrogation of Article 370, recorded the lowest turnout at 38%. This historic election marked a significant moment for the region, reflecting a changing political landscape.

In Maharashtra, the voting percentage stood at 59.33%, while Andhra Pradesh and Telangana witnessed turnouts of 68.87% and 62.64% respectively. However, instances of electoral misconduct surfaced in some constituencies, such as a case registered against a BJP candidate in Telangana’s Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat for allegedly asking burqa-clad women voters to reveal their faces.

Other states like Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, and Jharkhand saw turnout percentages of 65.77%, 57.06%, and 64.59% respectively. Concurrently, assembly polls were held for 175 and 28 out of 147 seats in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, adding another layer of significance to the electoral process.

Uttar Pradesh, with its significant stake in parliamentary representation, witnessed a turnout of 58.05%. However, allegations of electoral malpractice emerged in some areas, with Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav accusing the BJP of rigging the polls in Kannauj. Despite these challenges, citizens across the country continued to exercise their democratic rights, reaffirming the strength of India’s electoral process.

The Lok Sabha elections, spanning seven phases, are set to conclude on June 1, with the counting of votes scheduled for June 4. As the nation progresses through this crucial democratic exercise, each phase brings with it its own set of triumphs and tribulations, shaping the future trajectory of Indian politics.

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In a display of civic duty and democratic fervor, former cricket captain Rahul Dravid emerged as an early voter in Bengaluru during the ongoing India general elections. Setting a commendable example, Dravid was spotted queuing up alongside fellow citizens at a polling booth in Dollars Colony to cast his ballot.

Expressing his satisfaction with the electoral process, Dravid emphasized the importance of active participation in shaping the nation’s future. “Voting went smoothly, and the process was very easy. It is important to take our democracy forward, and I request everyone to step out and vote,” remarked Dravid, underscoring the significance of citizen engagement in the electoral process.

Anticipating a surge in voter turnout, particularly among the youth, Dravid highlighted the pivotal role of first-time voters in bolstering democratic representation. “I am expecting a larger voter turnout this time in Bengaluru. There are so many first-time voters as well, and everyone must use their franchise. If young boys and girls show up and cast their vote, it would be great,” he asserted, echoing a sentiment of empowerment through civic participation.

Joining Dravid in exercising their franchise were other prominent personalities, including former Indian cricket stalwart Anil Kumble and Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy. Kumble, accompanied by his wife Chethana Ramatheertha, cast their votes early in the morning, while Narayana Murthy and his wife Sudha Murthy urged Bengaluru voters to actively participate in the electoral process to enhance the city’s polling percentage.

Addressing the media, Sudha Murthy emphasized the significance of urban voter turnout and encouraged youngsters to seize the opportunity to choose their leaders. “I want to tell everyone – don’t sit at home, come out and vote, choose your leader,” she urged, highlighting the pivotal role of urban voters in shaping electoral outcomes.

The ongoing Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka witness 14 seats up for grabs in the second phase, with the remaining 14 slated for polling on May 7. Notable constituencies include Bangalore Rural, Bangalore North, Bangalore Central, Bangalore South, Mandya, and Mysore. The outcome of these elections will determine the political destiny of key figures such as BJP leader Tejasvi Surya, former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, and Congress stalwart DK Suresh.

As the electoral process unfolds, Bengaluru stands poised to make its mark on India’s democratic landscape, with citizens like Rahul Dravid leading the charge for active civic participation.

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