Mumbai: On May 6, in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections, the fate of 674 candidates will be tested where 51 constituencies across seven states will vote in.
Seven states to go on polls include Uttar Pradesh (14), Bihar (5), Jammu and Kashmir (2), Jharkhand (4), Madhya Pradesh (7), Rajasthan (12) and West Bengal (7).
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has ordered to conduct re-polling in eight booths in Shahjahanpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh on Monday. The re-polling would be held in booth number 289 in Jalalabad Assembly segment, 68 and 327 in Tilhar Assembly segment, booth numbers 368 and 351 in Powayan assembly segment, and 140, 255 and 371 of Dadraula Assembly segment. Polling in these booths took place in the fourth phase, April 29.
The key constituencies of this phase that would hit the headlines are Rae Bareli and Amethi as the mother-son duo will take on other contenders.
Sonia Gandhi will be contesting from Rae Bareli, while in Amethi Rahul Gandhi would take on Smriti Irani.
Final voter turnout in the fourth phase of ongoing Lok Sabha elections held on April 29 stood at 65.51 per cent, according to data released by the Election Commission of India on Saturday. The voting percentage is 2.46 per cent higher than in 2014. The 2014 Lok Sabha witnessed 63.05 per cent turnout in the fourth phase.
The first, second and third phases of the Lok Sabha polls held on April 11, 18 and 23 witnessed a turnout of 69.43 per cent, 69.44 per cent, and 68.4 per cent respectively.
Jammu and Kashmir recorded the lowest turnout with just 10.5 per cent votes. A total of 72 seats from nine states including Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir went to polls in the fourth phase.
The polling percentage in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections was the highest in West Bengal - around 76.44 per cent till 5 pm, EC had said on Monday.
The last phase of polling will be held on May 19 and counting of votes will take place on May 23.
Important seats to glue eyes on this phase of 17th Lok Sabha polls:
In phase 5, Rae Bareli and Amethi Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh will be among the most watched contests between BJP and Congress. In Uttar Pradesh, where 80 Lok Sabha seats are at stake, polling is being held in all seven phases of elections starting April 11.
Sitting MP and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is seeking to defend his turf and win the Amethi seat for the fourth time. However, it is considered to be a crucial seat for Rahul as Union Minister Smriti Irani is a tough fight, who had brought down his victory margin to just over a lakh in 2014.
Sonia Gandhi, who is seeking re-election from the Raebareli seat, is contesting against BJP's Dinesh Pratap Singh among other candidates.
BJP minister Rajnath Singh, SP-BSP's Poonam Sinha and Congress' Pramod Krishnam are among the popular candidates that will fight from Lucknow seat.
The mahagathbandhan might give the BJP a run for its money in seven of the 12 seats that party won in the state.
Coupled with this, sitting BJP MP Savitri Bai Phule recently quit the party and joined the Congress. She is now contesting on the hand symbol. SP has repeated Shabbir Ahmad Balmiki, this time as the mahagathbandhan candidate.
The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), the BJP, the Congress and Left Front constituent CPI(M) are the main contenders in the seven seats where the fate of 83 candidates will be decided by a 1,16,91,889 strong electorate.
In Barrackpore, the TMC has fielded Dinesh Trivedi against BJP's Arjun Singh who defected from the TMC ahead of the polls. The Congress has nominated Md Alam and the CPI(M)'s candidate is Gargi Chatterjee.
The TMC has fielded Mamata Thakur against BJP nominee Shantanu Thakur inviting a split in the Matua community in the Bangaon (SC) seat. On Saturday, Shantanu Thakur was injured in an accident on Saturday. The CPI(M) has nominated Alakesh Das, while the Congress has fielded Sourav Prosad. Matua votes were considered a major factor in the Trinamool Congress' win in the 2011 and 2016 Assembly polls.
Eight-time MP Ram Vilas Paswan’s younger brother Pashupati Kumar Paras will represent the Lok Janshakti Party against RJD’s Shiv Chandra Ram. Sitting MP Paswan represented Hajipur from 1977-84, 1989-91 and 1996-2009.
Earlier known as Chapra, Saran constituency will see BJP’s Rajeev Pratap Rudy eyeing a second term. He will contest against RJD’s Chandrika Rai, and a namesake of jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. Rudy had lost to Yadav in 2004 and 2009, but had won in 2014 against former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi.
Madhubani constituency will see BJP’s Ashok Kumar Yadav contest independent candidate and former AICC General Secretary Shakeel Ahmad. Yadav is a three-time MLA from Keoti in Darbhanga and the son of four-time MP and sitting parliamentarian Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav. Also in the fray is Badrinath Purve of the Vikassheel Insaaf Party, who was given a ticket based on the ‘grand alliance.’
After representing the state’s capital Ranchi for five terms on a BJP ticket, Ram Tahal Choudhary seeks a sixth term as an independent candidate. He will contest three-time Congress MP Subodh Kant Sahay, and BJP’s Sanjay Seth.
BJP’s Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha seeks re-election against Congress’ Jharkhand treasurer Gopal Sahu. While the Congress has never won this seat in 35 years, Jayant Sinha’s father Yashwant Sinha, a former finance minister, held the seat from 1998-2004.
Jammu and Kashmir
559 polling stations have been set up at Ladakh parliamentary constituency to ensure smooth conduct of the electoral exercise.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman campaigned for BJP in Leh and Congress carried out a massive roadshow across Leh town. The constituency has two districts – Leh and Kargil.
The Kargil district consists of two assembly segments - Kargil and Zanskar - and the Leh district includes Nubra and Leh assembly segments.
The four candidates in the fray are Rigzin Spalbar of the Congress, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal of the BJP and two independents, Haji Asgar Ali Karbalai and Sajjad Hussain. In 2014, Ladakh Lok Sabha constituency was won by BJP's Thupstan Chhewang who defeated independent candidate Gulam Raza by just 36 votes.
Voting in Ladakh will be conducted from 7 am to 6 pm.
Ganganagar BJP MP Nihal Chand will be pitted against Congress’ Bharat Ram Meghwal. Chand was a former minister of state in the Modi administration from 2014-2016 and had won in 1996, 1999 and 2004.
It is a battle of the Meghwals as Bikaner BJP Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal Bikaner, has been fielded against his cousin Madangopal Meghwal, who is contesting on a Congress ticket. While Arjun Ram seeks a third-term in Parliament, Madangopal joined the Congress ahead of the assembly polls. The Congress had last won this seat in 1999.
BJP Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore will battle against Commonwealth Games medalist Krishna Poonia in Jaipur. While Rathore had defeated Congress’ CP Joshi in 2014 with a margin of over three lakh votes, Poonia is the sitting MLA from Sadulpur.
Madhya Pradesh’s Satna will face a close fight between the BJP and Congress. Three-time BJP MP Ganesh Singh won the seat in 2014 with 0.95 per cent vote margin (8,688 votes) against Congress's Ajay Singh. He is facing Rajaram Tripathi from Congress this time.
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