North India

Voting underway in 12 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan, two Union Ministers in fray

Voting for the first phase of elections was underway in 12 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan on Friday.

Jaipur: Voting for the first phase of elections was underway in 12 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan on Friday.

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The voting began at 7 a.m. and will continue till 6 p.m. Rajasthan Chief Secretary Sudhanshu Pant was among the first 50 voters to cast his vote. He joined the queue of voters at 7 a.m. and cast his vote.

Speaking on the occasion, he said, “Following the appeal of the Election Commission of ‘pehle matdaan, phir jalpan, I have come here to cast my vote at 7 am. It is our duty to use our right to franchise for the benefit of the country. I appeal to each citizen to cast their vote.”

BJP MLA Gopal Sharma also cast his vote from Civil Lines in Jaipur.

Voting is taking place in 12 parliamentary constituencies — Sri Ganganagar, Bikaner, Churu, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Jaipur Rural, Jaipur, Alwar, Bharatpur, Karauli-Dholpur, Dausa and Nagaur.

In the first phase, two Union Ministers of BJP, Arjunram Meghwal from Bikaner and Bhupendra Yadav from Alwar, are contesting. Whereas in Churu, Rahul Kaswan, who rebelled against the BJP after being denied the ticket, is contesting on Congress ticket. In Nagaur, Congress is in alliance with RLP and has fielded Hanuman Beniwal while Jyoti Mirdha is contesting from BJP.

Over 2.53 crore voters will cast their votes on the seats in the first phase. Among these seats, the least number of voters are in Dausa and the most number of voters are in Jaipur. At the same time, this time there are over 15.70 lakh first-time voters in the state, said Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Gupta.

“Rajasthan Election Department is making several efforts to ensure smooth voting and increase the voting percentage with the objective of ‘leaving no voter’. In this sequence, the IT services are being used to provide real-time information to the voters about the people standing in the queue at the booth. Also, we have announced giving best selfie awards, scratch cards to voters in collaboration with business organisations and discounts on various products and services for showing inked fingers to enhance the voting per cent,” said Gupta.

While BJP is contesting on all 25 seats in Rajasthan, Congress is contesting 22 seats and has left three for alliance partners.

State DGP Utkal Ranjan Sahu said that Rajasthan Police were ensuring a fear-free environment in the first phase of Lok Sabha constituencies of Jaipur City, Jaipur Rural, Bikaner, Sriganganagar, Churu, Nagaur, Alwar, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Dausa, Bharatpur and Karauli-Dholpur. Tight security arrangements have been made for fair and peaceful voting. To maintain peace and law and order in all these constituencies, Rajasthan Police personnel as well as companies of Central Armed Forces and Home Guards personnel have been deployed.

He said that for the first and second phases of Lok Sabha elections in the state, officers and soldiers of Rajasthan Police (about 75,000 in the first phase and about 85,000 in the second phase), as well as 175 companies of Central Armed Forces, have been deployed.

Sahu informed that 23,651 polling stations and 719 auxiliary polling stations have been created under 14 police districts in 12 Lok Sabha constituencies in the first phase. Police personnel, Home Guards, RAC and Central Armed Forces personnel have been deployed at critical and sensitive polling stations as per the norms prescribed by the Election Commission.

The DGP said that the borders of neighbouring states including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, MP and Gujarat have been sealed and 225 check posts have been created. There will be frequent checking on these posts, in view of the first phase of voting in the state. Liquor shops will remain closed in the areas of all 12 Lok Sabha seats. Interstate borders have been sealed on these 12 seats.

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