India’s Largest Electoral Marathon Concludes with Final Phase of Voting

The seventh and final phase of voting in India’s parliamentary elections commenced on Saturday, encompassing 57 constituencies across seven states and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. This phase marks the culmination of the world’s largest electoral exercise, spanning six weeks and covering a total of 486 parliamentary seats.

According to the Election Commission of India, over 10.06 crore eligible voters, including approximately 5.24 crore men, 4.82 crore women, and 3574 third gender individuals, are expected to cast their ballots in this phase.

Prior to the commencement of voting, mock polls were conducted at various polling booths across the country, including locations in West Bengal, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, and Jharkhand. Additionally, awareness campaigns were organized, with initiatives such as Gidda performances in Mohali urging voters to participate in the democratic process.

All 13 parliamentary constituencies in Punjab are among those voting in this final phase. Meanwhile, by-polls for six assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh are also scheduled for June 1, with outcomes potentially impacting the state’s Congress government.

Polling is being held in Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Chandigarh. Additionally, simultaneous polling for 42 assembly constituencies in Odisha is taking place.

The Election Commission reported that polling for 28 states/UTs and 486 parliamentary constituencies has proceeded smoothly thus far, with counting scheduled for June 4. Despite hot weather conditions, voter turnout has been significant, particularly among women in recent phases.

Stringent measures have been implemented to ensure fair and secure elections, including the deployment of flying squads, surveillance teams, and border check posts to prevent electoral malpractice. Special provisions have been made at polling stations to accommodate elderly and disabled voters.

Following the conclusion of voting on June 1, exit poll results will be broadcasted on various TV channels. However, the Election Commission has imposed a ban on exit polls from April 19 to June 1 to preserve the integrity of the electoral process.

The final phase of campaigning saw extensive efforts from political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, and others, who engaged in rallies, roadshows, and media interactions to garner support.

With polling now underway in the seventh phase, the fate of numerous prominent candidates, including Prime Minister Modi, will soon be decided, marking the culmination of an intense and closely watched electoral process.

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