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Voting in second phase of elections today

April 18, 2019

The second phase of the Lok Sabha elections have begun today. They are taking place soon after several raids over what is being called a cash-for-votes scam in Tamil Nadu. Elections in 38 Lok Sabha and 18 assembly seats of the state are being held. Polling in the Vellore seat has been cancelled after a huge cash haul by Income Tax officials.

Elections are also being held in 35 assembly constituencies in Odisha. In all, 95 Lok Sabha seats across 11 states and one in the Union Territory of Puducherry are voting today. Electoral fortunes of four union ministers and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda will be decided. The counting of votes for the seven-phase election, which ends on May 19, will be held on May 23.

Soon before voting began today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted early this morning asking people to come out and vote in large numbers.

Dear Citizens of India, Phase 2 of the Lok Sabha polls start today. I am sure all those whose seats are polling today will strengthen our democracy by exercising their franchise. I hope more youngsters head to the polling booths and vote - Prime MInister Narendra Modi

The last week witnessed hectic campaigning by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and a number of Union ministers. The Election Commission suspended four leaders from campaigning for the violation of Model Code of Conduct, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union minister Maneka Gandhi, BSP chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan.

Besides Tamil Nadu, polling is on in 14 seats in Karnataka, 10 in Maharashtra, eight in Uttar Pradesh, five each in Assam, Bihar and Odisha, three each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, two in Jammu and Kashmir and one seat each in Manipur and Puducherry.

Among the VIP candidates up for election today are Union ministers Jitendra Singh, Jual Oram, Sadananda Gowda and Pon Radhakrishnan.

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