Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Modi Votes in Gujarat as India’s Massive Electoral Process Enters Third Phase

In a significant step in India’s 2024 general elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi cast his vote in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, as the country moved into the third phase of its extensive polling process. This phase saw a 61.5% voter turnout, with elections being conducted across 93 constituencies in 12 states.

The Election Commission reported that around 49 million voters were registered for this phase, and over 1,300 candidates participated. The north-eastern state of Assam recorded the highest voter turnout at 75.3%, closely followed by West Bengal with 73.9%.

During the day, temperatures soared to 42ºC in some areas, yet it didn’t deter voters who were seen lining up at polling stations. The third phase is part of a seven-phase schedule to elect representatives to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament. Despite the closing of polls at 6 pm, those already in queues were allowed to continue casting their ballots.

In his home state of Gujarat, where 26 parliamentary seats are contested—25 this election cycle due to the Surat seat being won unopposed by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—Modi urged increased voter participation. “Voted in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Urging everyone to do so as well and strengthen our democracy,” Modi stated on social media platform X. “Your active participation will add to the splendour of this festival of democracy.”

Gujarat, a BJP stronghold, has been under the party’s control for over 22 years, with Modi himself serving as Chief Minister for over a decade before his election as Prime Minister in 2014. The BJP aims to maintain its dominance in the state, having swept all 26 seats in the 2019 elections.

This election is notably lengthy, the second-longest in the nation’s history after the inaugural general election in 1951-1952, which spanned four months. The Election Commission has gone to great lengths to ensure accessibility, setting up polling booths in remote and protected areas like the Gir forest, home to the world’s only Asiatic lions.

The logistical challenges are immense, with election officials and security forces utilizing various modes of transport, including foot, road, train, helicopter, boat, and even elephants, to reach voters in the most isolated parts of the country.

With phases four through seven still to come, and the fourth phase scheduled for May 13, the electoral process continues to underscore the vibrant and dynamic nature of Indian democracy. Nearly 970 million people are eligible to vote for the 543 Lok Sabha seats, making this one of the largest electoral exercises globally.

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