Mumbai: The fourth phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections will take place across 72 parliamentary constituencies in nine states on April 29.
With phase 3 of polling, India has voted more than half of the constituencies across the country.
The nine states include Bihar (5), Jammu and Kashmir (1), Jharkhand (3), Madhya Pradesh (6), Maharashtra (17), Odisha (6), Rajasthan (13), Uttar Pradesh (13) and West Bengal (8).
According to the Election Commission of India, citizens will be able to vote from 7 am to 6 pm in most of the constituencies. For some of the sensitive regions of Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and parts of Madhya Pradesh, the polling will end at 4 pm.
People of Odisha will also vote on Monday in the state election in the Assembly constituencies that fall under respective parliamentary seats.
Maharashtra and Odisha will be witnessing final polling whereas Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan will vote for the first time.
The votes will be counted on 23 May.
In the first phase, the voter turnout was 69.43 per cent. In the second and third phase, voter turnout was 67.1 per cent and 66 per cent respectively.
Among the popular candidates in fray in this phase are Union ministers Giriraj Singh, Subhash Bhamre, SS Ahluwalia and Babul Supriyo of the BJP and former Union ministers Salman Khurshid and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the Congress.
Other key contestants are CPI's Kanhaiya Kumar, BJP's Baijayant Panda, Congress's Urmila Matondkar, Samajwadi Party's Dimple Yadav, TMC's Satabdi Roy and Congress's Milind Deora.
The BJP and its allies are hoping to retain all the five seats and putting up a fight to RJD-Congress alliance.
The prominent candidates are Union Minister Giriraj Singh, former JNU leader Knahaiya Kumar and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha.
Begusarai is a crucial seat which will be witnessing a triangular where Kanhaiya Kumar of CPI will be against Giriraj Singh of BJP and Tanweer Hassan of RJD.
In Darbhanga, an interesting contest will be seen as cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad will be contesting from Congress side. Previously, he had got elected to Lok Sabha on BJP ticket, is now a member of the Congress.
He, however, did not get a ticket as Congress ally RJD has fielded its senior leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui from this constituency.
The five seats going to polls are Darbhanga, Munger, Ujiarpur, Samastipur, Begusarai.
Jammu and Kashmir
Voting will be held in three phases in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag which is a militancy-hit region.
Anantnag constituency includes four volatile districts, Shopian, Anantnag, Kulgam and Pulwama.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Anantnag elected People's Democratic Party's Mehbooba Mufti.
A section of this constituency, however, has already voted in the third phase.
In Jharkhand, the BJP faces the combined might of Congress, JMM, RJD and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik). The alliance are out to ensure that the ruling party does not repeat its 2014 performance when the NDA won 12 of 14 seats.
Some of the prominent candidates are Union Minister Sudarshan Bhagat and parliamentarians Vishnu Dayal Ram and Sunil Kumar Singh.
Addressing poll rallies, a host of top BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, appealed to the people to re-elect BJP-led NDA government to take forward the development work and protect the country.
A direct fight is expected between the Congress and the BJP is expected.
This election will be a prestige battle for Chief Minister Kamal Nath of Congress, who took over the state five months ago.
The eminent candidates are CM Kamal Nath's son Nakul Nath, and parliamentarians Faggan Singh Kulaste and Riti Pathak.
In 2014 elections, the BJP had swept the state but lost in the Assembly polls in December last year after being the power for 15 consecutive years. The elections were won by the Congress and hope to continue the trend in the general elections.
The major highlight of these polls is that the BJP has fielded Malegaon blast accused Pragya Thakur from prestigious Bhopal constituency against senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh.
The by-election to the Chhindwara assembly constituency where Kamal Nath is in the fray will also be held on April 29.
The important candidates are former Union Minister Milind Murli Deora, Priya Dutt, NCP chief Sharad Pawar's grandnephew Parth Pawar.
In Mumbai North, Congress has fielded actor-turned-politician Urmila Shrikant Matondkar against BJP's Gopal Chinnaya Shetty.
In 2014 BJP's Gopal Chinnaya Shetty had defeated Congress's Sanjay Nirupam.
In Mumbai South, Congress's Milind Deora is fielded against Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant and BSP's Suresh Kumar Gautam.
This seat is one of the most closely-watched seats where Deora is in a direct fight with Sawant.
Deora has been endorsed by South Asia's wealthiest man and Chairman of Reliance Mukesh Ambani.
In 2014, Arvind Sawant had defeated Congress candidate Milind Deora but this time, the race seems sturdy and both sides claim their winning chances.
The BJP is trying to make inroads where the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has been dominating for over a decade now.
It would be an interesting contest in Kendrapara, where Jay Panda, a former BJD leader who is now with the BJP, is fielded against actor-turned-politician Anubhav Mohanty.
Prominent among the hopefuls include BJP national vice-president Baijayant Panda (Kendrapara), Rabindra Kumar Jena and state Congress president Niranjan Patnaik (Bhandaripokhari).
This will be the final phase of polling in the state.
In this phase, voting will also be held in 41 assembly seats.
This phase will see traditional seats of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former CM Vasundhara Raje going to polls.
Gehlot's son Vaibhav will be making his political debut against sitting MP and Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
Raje's son Dushyant Singh is seeking re-election from Jhalawar-Baran. Raje had also won the constituency five times.
The other prominent candidates are Union Ministers PP Chaudhary and parliamentarians Sukhbir Singh Jaunapuria, Dushyant Singh.
The seats going to poll in the state are Tonk-Sawaimadhopur, Ajmer, Pali, Jodhpur, Barmer, Jalore, Udaipur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Kota and Jhalawar-Baran.
In Rajasthan, where the BJP had won all the seats in 2014, the Congress had won seven out of the eight Assembly segments in the constituency.
In Uttar Pradesh, most of these 13 seats will be witnessing a direct fight between the BJP and Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance with Kannauj being a matter of prestige for the SP.
Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple is seeking re-election from Kannauj.
In this phase, most of the seats in the Bundelkhand region where the BJP performed credibly in 2014 will be facing a strong challenge from the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party combine this time.
The phase will also see interesting competition in Kanpur and Farrukhabad.
Of the 13, Congress has a good presence in at least three of the constituencies — Unnao (Annu Tandon), Farrukhabad (Salman Khurshid) and Kanpur (Sriprakash Jaiswal).
Kanpur is a high-profile seat where the BJP has dropped sitting MP senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who had defeated Congress candidate Sriprakash Jaiswal, in the last election.
For this election, the BJP has fielded Satyadev Pachauri against Congress veteran and three-time winner Sriprakash Jaiswal.
The SP-BSP candidate is pushing Uttar Pradesh's industrial capital into a triangular contest.
In Unnao, this seat is bracing for a three-way contest. BJP has fielded sitting MP Sakshi Maharaj while Congress has fielded former MP Annu Tandon.
The SP-BSP ‘Mahagathbandhan’ is hoping to consolidated votes to take on the BJP.
The state would witness a four-cornered contest between Trinamool Congress, BJP, Congress and the Left Front.
The prominent candidates in this phase of polling are parliamentarian Moon Moon Sen from TMC, Union Ministers Babul Supriyo and SS Ahluwalia.
BJP is making an aggressive push against the Trinamool Congress, which has been dominating since 2011.
In this phase, Union Minister and BJP MP Babul Supriyo will be defending his Asansol seat. To counter Supriyo, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress has fielded actress-turned-politician Moon Moon Sen. Sen has been called a ‘giant slayer’ after she defeated nine-time MP Basudeb Acharia in the Left bastion of Bankura in 2014.
In Birbhum, TMC's Satabdi Roy will be fighting against BJP's Dudh Kumar Mondal, Congress's Imam Hossain and CPI(M)'s Rezaul Karim.
Roy is attempting to get re-elected for a third consecutive term.
During the campaigning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to woo rural as well as urban voters by highlighting infrastructural and development work done under his rule.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, however, tried to project the Congress's proposed minimum income guarantee scheme "NYAY" as a game changer for the poor.
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