Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], April 18 (ANI): Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Uttarakhand Chief Electoral Officer BVRCC Purushottam held a meeting with all the departments and agencies related to essential services in the Secretariat on Thursday.

The Chief Electoral Officer directed in the meeting that medical staff should be present in all hospitals on the day of polling till the end of polling. Apart from this, the concerned departments related to electricity and drinking water supply should ensure arrangements at all polling stations.

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The Chief Electoral Officer has instructed the Public Works Department to keep all highways, roads, connecting roads on alert mode in view of landslide or any other obstruction till the safe return of the polling parties to their destinations.

Uttarakhand is set to vote in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections on Friday.

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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.

In Uttarakhand, the BJP had won all the Lok Sabha seats in the elections in both the 2014 and 2019 elections. 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.

The election for 543 Lok Sabha seats will be held in seven phases starting April 19. Nearly 97 crore voters are eligible to cast their votes in the general elections this time. The counting of the votes is scheduled for June 4.

Campaigning for 102 parliamentary constituencies distributed across 21 states and Union territories, where voting will be held in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections on April 19, concluded on Wednesday.

In the first phase, polling will be held in Arunachal Pradesh (2 seats), Assam (5), Bihar (4), Chhattisgarh (1), Madhya Pradesh (6), Maharashtra (5), Manipur (2), Meghalaya (2), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Rajasthan (12), Sikkim (1), Tamil Nadu (39), Tripura (1), Uttar Pradesh (8), Uttarakhand (5), West Bengal (3), Andaman and Nicobar (1), Jammu and Kashmir (1), Lakshadweep (1) and Puducherry (1). (ANI)

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