India, April 19 -- Voting in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections across 102 parliamentary constituencies in 21 states and union territories commenced on Friday.

Out of the total 97 crore voters, a total of 16.63 crore voters are eligible to exercise their voting rights in the first phase between 7 am and 5 pm in most of the booths.

A total of 1,625 candidates are in the fray as polling begins in 1.87 lakh polling stations.

Voting is being held in Naxal-infested Bastar that recently saw over 40 Maoists being eliminated in major actions as well as in the ethnic violence-hit Manipur in the first phase which also includes 18 seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and 11 for Scheduled tribes, Indian news agency UNI reported.

With the f...