Lok Sabha polls: Phase 5 voting to lock fate of 49 seats today | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Lok Sabha polls: Phase 5 voting to lock fate of 49 seats today

By, New Delhi
May 20, 2024 02:07 AM IST

Over 89.5 million people to vote in 6 states, 2 Union territories in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections, with prominent leaders among the candidates.

Over 89.5 million people will vote across six states and two Union territories in the fifth of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections on Monday, sealing the political fate of 695 candidates, and among them several prominent leaders including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani, and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah.

Election Commission officials with election material ahead of the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls, in Lucknow on Sunday. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)
Election Commission officials with election material ahead of the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls, in Lucknow on Sunday. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)

Phase 5 of Lok Sabha elections 2024 on May 20: Check 10 key constituencies/seats

When the voting closes in 49 constituencies on Monday, 428 of the Lok Sabha’s 543 seats will have gone to polls in the elections that began on April 19.

Among the seats going to polls, 13 are in Maharashtra, 14 in Uttar Pradesh including the politically decisive seats of Amethi and Rae Bareli, seven in West Bengal, five in Bihar, three in Jharkhand, five in Odisha, one in Jammu and Kashmir, and the lone seat in Ladakh. This round of elections is the smallest in its scope of the seven phases.

This phase will mark another landmark: voting in 24 of India’s 36 states and Union territories will conclude on Monday. The focus will then shift to the north-western states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Delhi.

“The commission has called upon voters to turnout in greater numbers at polling stations and vote with responsibility and pride,” the polling body said in a statement, although predictions of heatwaves and severe heatwaves at some of the constituencies could affect voting.

Over 89.5 million people, including 42.6 million women and 5,409 third gender electors, are eligible to vote in this round and 947,000 polling officials have been deployed across 94,732 polling stations.

In this phase are 48 seats (not accounting for the one seat in Jammu and Kashmir where delimitation was held) where the Congress had its weakest showing in 2019, winning only the Gandhi family stronghold of Rae Bareli. The BJP and its allies won 41 seats and the rest were won by either Trinamool Congress (TMC) or Biju Janata Dal (BJD). In this poll season, TMC is part of the opposition INDIA bloc.

In sharp focus will be the turnout, with the Election Commission expecting a rising trend to continue in the fifth phase. The turnout of 69.16% in the fourth phase was highest among the four phases with voting in first three phases being 66.14%, 66.71%, and 65.68%, respectively.

On the eve of polling, EC on Sunday pointed out that Mumbai, Thane and Lucknow have shown apathy towards voting in the past and asked city dwellers there to “erase the stigma by turning out in higher numbers”.

Other prominent candidates include Union ministers Piyush Goyal (Mumbai North, Maharashtra), Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Fatehpur, UP) and Shantanu Thakur (Bongaon, WB); LJP (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan (Hajipur, Bihar), Shiv Sena’s Shrikant Shinde (Kalyan, Maharashtra), and BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy and RJD president Lalu Prasad’s daughter Rohini Acharya (both Saran, Bihar).

But all eyes will be on Rae Bareli and Amethi.

Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 5: List of documents you can use to cast vote without Voter ID

Rahul Gandhi, who has contested from Wayanad in Kerala, is also in the fight for Rae Bareli, a Nehru-Gandhi family pocket borough represented by his mother Sonia Gandhi since 2004. The BJP has fielded UP minister Dinesh Pratap Singh.

In Amethi, Irani, who defeated Rahul Gandhi in 2019, is seeking a second term, while KL Sharma, an aide of the Gandhi family, has been fielded by the Congress.

In all, 144 candidates are in fray in 14 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. Senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh is eyeing a fourth term from Lucknow. He is up against the SP’s MLA from Lucknow Central, Ravidas Mehrotra.

In the Faizabad Lok Sabha seat, which covers the temple town of Ayodhya, the electoral contest is mainly between incumbent BJP MP Lallu Singh, who is seeking a hat-trick, and Awadhesh Prasad, the SP MLA from Milkipur (SC) assembly constituency in Ayodhya.

In Kaiserganj, Karan Bhusan Singh has replaced his father and incumbent MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh as the BJP candidate after the former WFI chief was accused of sexually harassing wrestlers.

Voting will also take place for the assembly bypolls to the Lucknow East assembly constituency.

In Maharashtra, where polling will be held in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies, including six in Mumbai, Piyush Goyal, Bharati Pawar (Dindori) and Kapil Patil (Bhiwandi) are among the key nominees of the BJP, which has also fielded prominent lawyer Ujjwal Nikam (Mumbai North Central).

Shiv Sena’s Shrikant Shinde (Kalyan) and city Congress chief Varsha Gaikwad (Mumbai North Central) are also among the candidates in this phase, which is the last for the state in this election.

In Baramulla, besides former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah, former separatist leader Sajad Lone, ex-MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid, currently lodged in the Tihar jail, and the PDP’s former Rajya Sabha member Fayaz Ahmad Mir are among the 21 others contesting.

In Ladakh, Congress candidate Tsering Namgyal, BJP’s Tashi Gyalson, and Independent candidate and NC rebel Haji Hanifa Jan are locked in a keen contest.

Security has been stepped up in West Bengal’s seven constituencies which have a history of election-related violence, with over 57% of the polling stations identified as sensitive in this phase, the highest till now in this Lok Sabha election.

Over 60,000 personnel of central forces and around 30,000 personnel of the state police, have been deployed, which is more than in the four previous phases in the state, an official said.

BJP’s Arjun Singh, who has been in and out of the BJP and the Trinamool Congress on four occasions in the last five years, is taking on West Bengal minister Partha Bhowmick in Barrackpore in a bid to retain the seat he won in 2019.

Actor Rachana Banerjee has been fielded by the TMC to stop actor and BJP candidate Locket Chatterjee from winning a straight second term from Hooghly.

In Serampore, the TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee is fighting against the BJP’s Kabir Shankar Bose.

Voting will take place in Saran, Muzaffarpur, Hajipur, Sitamarhi and Madhubani Lok Sabha seats of Bihar, which are all with the NDA.

In Hajipur, the primary contest is between Chirag Paswan, whose late father Ram Vilas Paswan had won the seat eight times, and RJD’s Shiv Chandra Ram, a former MLA and ex-minister in the state.

Former Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy’s bid to score a hat-trick in Saran has been challenged by RJD president Lalu Prasad’s daughter Rohini Acharya.

Voting in three Jharkhand Lok Sabha constituencies — Chatra, Koderma and Hazaribag — and by-election in Gandey assembly seat, where Kalpana Soren, the wife of jailed former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, is contesting, will take place on Monday.

An interesting fight is expected in the Koderma Lok Sabha seat where Union Minister and BJP candidate Annapurna Devi is up against Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation nominee Vinod Singh, an MLA from Bagodar assembly constituency.

Voting for Lok Sabha and assembly seats will take place simultaneously in Odisha.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik is contesting from two assembly segments — Hinjili under the Aska Lok Sabha seat in Ganjam district and Kantabanji under the Bolangir parliamentary constituency.

Phase 5 of 2024 Lok Sabha polls: 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh to vote on Monday, Rajnath Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Smriti Irani among key candidates

Apart from Patnaik, who is seeking a record sixth term, major contestants include around half a dozen Odisha ministers, BJP’s sitting MPs Jual Oram and Sangeeta Singh Deo, BJD MP Achyut Samant and former Indian Hockey captain Dilip Tirkey.

Odisha chief electoral officer Nikunja Dhal said a total of 7.9 million voters will exercise their franchise at 9,162 polling booths. More than 100 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) will be deployed including Aska Lok Sabha constituency where a BJP worker was hacked to death by BJD rivals early this week.

Director general of police Arun Kumar Sarangi said to ensure foolproof security during polling 655 mobile parties will be deployed during the elections and border check posts will be set up.

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