The political fervour in India is set to reach a crescendo as the first phase of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 is scheduled to kick off on April 19. This initial phase will witness several states and union territories exercising their democratic rights, with 10 states and UTs fully covered and 11 others partially covered.

A total of 102 constituencies spread across these regions will see eligible voters cast their ballots, while concurrent state legislative assembly elections are slated to occur in Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Sikkim during this period.

The Election Commission of India has laid out a detailed schedule for the seven-phase Lok Sabha 2024 elections. Phase 1, starting on April 19, will see polling stations open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with an additional hour allotted for voters already in line.

In this first phase, attention is particularly drawn to high-profile seats and notable candidates vying for electoral success. Among these figures are eight Union ministers, two former chief ministers, and a former governor, all poised to test their fortunes in the electoral arena.

Key Candidates in Phase 1

1. Jitendra Singh, BJP - Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir: A two-time MP and Union Minister, Jitendra Singh aims for a third consecutive victory in Udhampur, facing off against Congress's Chaudhary Lal Singh.

2. Nitin Gadkari, BJP - Nagpur, Maharashtra: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Gadkari seeks a third term in Nagpur, pitted against Congress's Vikas Thakare.

3. Jatin Prasada, BJP - Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh: Pilibhit sees a high-stakes battle with Prasada challenging SP's Bhagwat Saran Gangwar in the absence of Varun Gandhi from BJP's ticket.

4. A Raja, DMK - Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu: Former Telecom Minister Raja aims for re-election against BJP's L Murugan in Nilgiris.

5. K Annamalai, BJP - Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu: The former IPS officer contests against DMK leader Ganapathy P. Rajkumar and AIADMK’s Singai Ramachandran in Coimbatore.

6. Kiren Rijiju, BJP - Arunachal West, Arunachal Pradesh: The Union minister contests against Nabam Tuki from Congress in Arunachal West.

7. Topon Kumar Gogoi, BJP and Gaurav Gogoi, Congress - Jorhat, Assam: A contest between BJP's Topon Kumar Gogoi and Congress's Gaurav Gogoi marks this constituency.

8. Nakul Nath, Congress - Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh: Son of Kamal Nath, Nakul Nath seeks re-election in Chhindwara against BJP's candidate.

9. Arjun Ram Meghwal, BJP and Govind Ram Meghwal, Congress - Bikaner, Rajasthan: Arjun Ram Meghwal faces Govind Ram Meghwal in this crucial contest.

10. Tamilisai Soundararajan, BJP - Chennai South, Tamil Nadu: Returning to active politics, Soundararajan contests from Chennai South against DMK's Kanimozhi.

The initial phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh, which boasts the highest number of Lok Sabha seats (80) among all states, will include the constituencies of Saharanpur, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Nagina, Moradabad, Rampur, and Pilibhit.

Coochbehar, Alipurduars, and Jalpaiguri constituencies in Bengal will also be going to polls. Bengal, with a total of 42 Lok Sabha seats, will see these constituencies participate in the initial phase of voting.

On April 19, elections will be held in Maharashtra, a state with 48 Lok Sabha seats, with 5 constituencies participating. These constituencies include Ramtek, Nagpur, Bhandara-Gondiya, Gadchiroli-Chimur, and Chandrapur.

Phase 1 of the elections will cover all 39 seats in Tamil Nadu and 5 seats in Uttarakhand.

The first phase of polling covers significant constituencies across 21 states and UTs. It sets the stage for a dynamic electoral process, with results to be announced on June 4 after the completion of all seven phases.

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