After casting his vote at a polling booth in Haridwar in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections, Yog guru Baba Ramdev on Friday said that he exercised his franchise to make the country “disease-and-drug-free.”
Polling for Uttarakhand’s five Lok Sabha seats is underway, with the BJP hoping to retain all the seats for the third time and the Congress attempting to reclaim lost momentum in the state.
“My vote is for India. I have voted to make India disease-free and drug-free. I have voted for the better education of our young generation. I appeal to everyone to come out of their houses and cast their votes. 100 per cent voting must take place as it is required for a strong, healthy, visionary, and transparent democracy,” Ramdev told reporters.
As voting for the Lok Sabha elections began on Friday, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami also appealed to the people to vote in large numbers and choose a good government.
Urging the people to prioritise their right to vote, CM Dhami said, “Pehle Matdaan Phir Jalpaan (First vote, then refreshment). Today is the mega festival of democracy. I appeal to everyone to cast their votes and choose a good government. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has seen new heights in the last 10 years and our country has got global recognition. PM Modi wants to create a strong India and a strong Uttarakhand.”
In the 2014 and 2019 elections, the BJP won all the five Lok Sabha seats in the state. With 47 out of 70 assembly seats, the BJP dominated in the 2022 assembly polls, while Congress got 19 seats. BSP and Independents hold 2 seats each.
Uttarakhand has traditionally witnessed a close contest between the BJP and Congress.
Both parties see the state as an essential battleground for displaying and gaining supporters for their national narratives.
Voting for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024 began on Friday across 102 parliamentary constituencies spread over 21 states and Union Territories as the mega seven-phase electoral exercise commenced at 7:00 am.
The second phase will be held on April 26 and the remaining phases will be May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25, and June 1 accordingly. The last general elections in 2019 were also held in seven phases. (ANI)