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LS polls: Ist phase witnesses over 60 pc voter turnout

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New Delhi, April 19:  The first of the seven-phased Lok Sabha elections recorded a high voter turnout of over 60 per cent despite the heat wave.

The voting percentage is likely to go up after forms from other polling stations would be obtained as polling is scheduled till late in many constituencies and voters reaching the polling stations till the end of polling hour have been allowed to cast their vote.

Final figures will be known by Saturday after the scrutiny of form 17A.

On Friday, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India Rajiv Kumar and other election commissioners constantly monitored the progress of polling from ECI headquarters in Nirvachan Sadan, where a state-of-the-art control room was set up. Similar control rooms were set up at state and district levels too.

From bustling city centres to remote villages, the polling stations witnessed a colourful convergence of voters spanning generations and varied backgrounds.

In Chhattisgarh, Left Wing Extremist (LWE) affected areas embraced the power of the ballot over the bullet, choosing the path of peace and democracy. Around 56 villages in Bastar polled their vote in a polling booth set up in their own village for the first time for a Lok Sabha election.

In Andaman and Nicobar Islands, voters belonging to the tribal communities also came out in large numbers. Shompen tribe of Great Nicobar made history by casting their votes for the first time in a general election.

In phase 1, polling has been completed for 10 States/UTs to elect the 18th Lok Sabha along with polling for the state legislative assemblies of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

IANS

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