Mokokchung, 18 April (MTNews): The Election Commission of India (ECI) is all set to kickstart the 18th Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly elections across four states tomorrow, marking the beginning of the world’s largest democratic exercise. The Commission has pledged to ensure a free, fair, peaceful, accessible, participative, and inducement-free poll.

The first phase of polling will take place on 19 April 2024. A total of 102 Parliamentary Constituencies will vote across 21 States/UTs, along with 92 Assembly Constituencies in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

Over 16.63 crore voters are expected to cast their votes at 1.87 lakh polling stations. More than 18 lakh polling officials will facilitate the voting process.

The Commission, under the leadership of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, has meticulously prepared for the elections over the past two years. This involved extensive consultations, reviews, field visits, and training of officials, culminating in the establishment of new operating procedures in collaboration with various agencies and organizations.

Central forces have been deployed to ensure the security of polling stations. Webcasting will cover over 50% of polling stations, and 361 observers have been appointed for vigilant oversight. Over 4,600 Flying Squads and various surveillance teams will monitor the electoral process to curb any malpractices.

The ECI has introduced several measures to facilitate voting, especially for the elderly and persons with disabilities (PwD). Over 14.14 lakh voters aged 85 and above, along with 13.89 lakh PwD voters, have the option to vote from home. Voters will be provided with facilities like pick and drop, braille signage on EVMs, wheelchairs, and more. More than 5,000 polling stations will be managed by women, and over 1,000 by PwDs.

The Commission has urged voters to guard against misinformation and verify information from credible sources, such as the Commission’s Myth vs. Reality register and the ECI KYC app.

As the democratic festival commences, the ECI invites all eligible voters to participate actively, emphasizing the significance of each vote in shaping the nation’s future. The remaining six phases will continue until 1st June, with counting of votes scheduled for 4th June 2024.

For more information, visit Elections 2024 website.

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