Phase 1: India Votes for the 17th General Elections to choose the next Prime Minister

The first phase of Lok Sabha elections kicked off on Thursday, April 11, 2019 with some of the key constituencies going to polls in diverse regions of the country.

Starting from Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand in the north to Arunachal Pradesh in the east, Andhra Pradesh in the south, Lakshadweep in the west will herald the beginning of the seven-phase parliamentary polls to elect the 17th Lok Sabha. In all, 91 constituencies in 20 states and union territories will vote today.

The states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will elect state legislatures today while parts of Odisha will vote for the assembly. For Lok Sabha elections, voting will be held in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram, Uttarakhand, Nagaland, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and union territories Lakshadweep, Andaman and the Nicobar Islands today in a single phase.

Tollywood Celebs cast vote in Lok Sabha Elections 2019
Tollywood Celebs cast vote in Lok Sabha Elections 2019Collage of photos taken from Twitter and Facebook

All eyes will be on the outcome of these interesting constituencies where some known faces are in frey:

In Uttar Pradesh, Ghaziabad had sent former army chief and Union minister V.K. Singh last time with a 5.5 lakh votes but this time, the former general is facing tough ground-level resentment or anti-incumbency. In Bihar, the decisive fate of Dalit vote will be decided this time in Gaya where former chief minister Jairam Ram Manjhi of Hindustani Awam Morcha from the opposition alliance is contesting.

In Uttarakhand, all eyes are on the Pauri Lok Sabha seat this year where Manish Khanduri, son of former BJP chief minister B.C. Khanduri, is in fray from the Congress ticket giving his BJP rival Tirath Singh Rawat a nightmare. Though remained silent, his father has told News18 what he wanted in the constituency. Otherwise, the straight fight between Congress's veteran leader Harish Rawat against BJP's state president Ajay Bhatt in Nainital spell the future prospects for both national parties in the state.

In Maharashtra, RSS home Nagpur will see BJP heavyweight Nitin Gadkari pitted against BJP rebel leader and now a Congress nominee Nana Patole, known as "giant killer" here. In Odisha, the fight of royal scions will make the election interesting today. Puspendra Singh Deo will be contesting in Kalahandi on behalf of BJP against his rivals -- Odisha BJP chief Basant Panda and former Congress Union minister and anti-Vedanta leader Bhakta Charan Das.

In Telangana, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi is in frey to retain his Hyderabad seat, while erstwhile Union minister and Telangana Congress leader Renuka Choudary is testing her mettle in Khammam consituency. Another prestigious seat for the ruling TRS party is the Nizamabad seat where Telangana chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao's daughter and sitting MP, K. Kavitha is facing 185 candidates, 175 of them are disgruntled turmeric farmers seeking a better price.

In AP's Araku constituency, it is a fight between father and daughter on Telugu Desam and Congress tickets respectively. Ex-tribal affairs union minister V.K.C.S Deo and his daughter V. Shruti Devi will see that the next MP is from the same family.