As the 2019 Lok Sabha elections begin in the nation on Thursday with the voting for the first phase entailing 91 seats kicking off, the sports fraternity is leaving no stone unturned in making people aware of their rights to cast their vote.
After young sporting icons Jwala Gutta, PV Sindhu and Vijender Singh came forward to urge the citizens to cast their votes for a better and brighter future, it was now the turn of a veteran sports personality to make people aware about their roles and responsibilities. Former Indian footballing legend Bhaichung Bhutia took to Twitter and urged people to exercise their right to vote in order to elect a good representative for themselves. The striker had also posted a picture of him after he had cast his vote.
Bhutia has a keen interest in politics. He has his own political party 'Hamro Sikkim' which was formed last year. Before he started his own party, he was associated with Trinamool Congress.
Earlier badminton sensation Jwala Gutta had also posted a video of her after she had cast her vote along with her family.
On Thursday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to social media, urging the voters to turn out for voting in large numbers in the biggest celebration of the democracy.
He wrote: "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. I specially urge young and first-time voters to vote in large numbers.
On April 11, 20 states go to polls with 91 Parliamentary seats in the first Phase of the Lok Sabha elections.
Below are the states and the number of seats which will go to polls on Thursday.
Andhra Pradesh - 25
Assam - 5
Bihar - 4
Chattisgarh - 7
Jammu Kashmir - 2
Maharashtra - 7
Manipur - 1
Meghalaya - 2
Mizoram - 1
Nagaland - 1
Orissa - 4
Sikkim - 1
Telangana - 17
Tripura - 1
Uttar Pradesh - 8
West Bengal - 2
Andaman Nicobar Islands- 1
Nitin Gadkari, Kiren Rijiju, VK Singh, Mahesh Sharma, Hansraj Ahir, Agatha Sangma, Mukul Sangma, Harish Rawat, Ajay Tamta, Jayant Chaudhary, Satyapal Singh, Nabam Tuki, Renuka Chowdary, Nama Nageswara Rao, Chirag Paswan, Asaduddin Owaisi are some of the key candidates contesting polls during Phase I.
Voting for the 543 Lok Sabha seats is 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.