Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is eyeing a second term, appealed to voters of the country to exercise their franchise by turning out in record numbers at the poll booths.

In a tweet posted on the day of the first phase of polling in the Lok Sabha elections 2019, the PM especially called upon the first-time voters to vote in the biggest election of the country.

“2019 Lok Sabha elections commence today. I call upon all those whose constituencies are voting in the first phase today to turn out in record numbers and exercise their franchise,” he said on Twitter.

“I specially urge young and first-time voters to vote in large numbers,” the PM added.

 

Besides Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, too, urged the voters to vote reminding them that their “one vote will decide the future of this great nation”.

“I request each and every voter to come out and vote,” the BJP chief said. “The power of democracy lies in your single vote, your one vote will decide the future of this great nation.”

Shah issued similar appeals, in different languages, to people in various states going to the polls on Thursday in the first of the seven-phased election to pick a new Lok Sabha.

The first phase of voting in the seven-phased crucial Lok Sabha elections is underway in 91 constituencies in 20 states and union territories.

In the first phase of the mega seven-phase exercise, all Lok Sabha constituencies of Andhra Pradesh (25), Telangana (17), Uttarakhand (5), Meghalaya (2) and Arunachal Pradesh (2), besides the lone seats of Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar, and Lakshadweep are going to polls.

Besides, voting in under way for eight seats in Uttar Pradesh, seven in Maharashtra, four in Bihar, five in Assam, four in Odisha, two each in Jammu-Kashmir and West Bengal and one seat in Chhattisgarh.

There are a total of 543 Lok Sabha seats in all and polling for all the seats will be held in seven phases — April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. Counting will be done on May 23.

Besides the Lok Sabha elections, as many as 175 assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh, 32 seats in Sikkim and 28 in Odisha are also going to polls simultaneously.