With elaborate arrangements in place to ensure smooth conduct of the polling, people were exercising their franchise for the phase-4 of the ongoing parliamentary elections on Monday morning.
There are about 12.79 crore voters eligible to cast their votes in the fourth phase.
Political observers say, stakes are high for the ruling BJP and its allies. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance had swept 56 of these seats in 2014, leaving just two for the Congress and the rest for other opposition parties such as the Trinamool Congress (6) and the Biju Janata Dal (6).
The fate of 961 candidates, including Union ministers Giriraj Singh, Subhash Bhamre, S S Ahluwalia and Babul Supriyo of the BJP and former Union ministers Salman Khurshid and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the Congress in this phase.
A total of 71 Parliamentary constituencies, spread over nine States, and Kulgam district of Anantnag Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir are undergoing polling in this phase.
Voting will be held for 17 Parliamentary seats in Maharashtra; 13 each in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh; eight in West Bengal; six each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha; five in Bihar; and three in Jharkhand in this phase.
2019 Parliamentary Elections has seven phases, voting for which commenced on 11 April and will last until 19 May. With three phases already completed, the remaining four phases of the elections is scheduled respectively on 29 April and 6 May, 12 May, and 19 May. Votes will be counted on 23 May 2019.