Electoral fates of bigwigs such as Kamal Nath (Chhindwara), Meira Kumar (Sasaram), Nitin Gadkari (Nagpur) and Shashi Tharoor (Thiruvananthapuram) will be sealed in EVMs. Seven Union ministers, including Kapil Sibal, Kamal Nath and Shashi Tharoor (all from the Congress), Ajit Singh of the Rashtriya Lok Dal, and former army chief VK Singh and Harsh Vardhan (both from the BJP) are the other key nominees among the 1,419 candidates in the fray. In 2009, the Congress had won 45 of these 91 seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had bagged 13. The BJP is upbeat this time, riding high on opinion polls. HT takes you to the sugarcane belts of western Uttar Pradesh, the buzzing polling booths of Delhi, the drought and hailstorm-hit Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, the Vindhya region of Madhya Pradesh, the plains of Jammu, the politically-charged Kerala and the Maoist-affected belts of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. We also look at the apparently unshakeable Naveen Patnaik in Odisha, the revamped political dynamics in Bihar after Janata Dal (United) snapped ties with the BJP, and Haryana, where polling finishes in one go. Our attention will also be on polling in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshwadeep. HT tells you about the equation between BJP leader Nitin Gadkari and Muslims in Nagpur and how actors Kirron Kher and Gul Panag are posing a tough challenge to former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in Chandigarh. Know why the Muzaffarnagar riots last year will have a bearing on elections in western UP. We will also keep you updated about how the Aam Aadmi Party is trying to win over Delhi again and Shashi Tharoor is going for his second straight win from Thiruvananthapuram. Read on with HT to be a part of India's grandest festival.
(Edited by Sandip Bardhan)