One hundred and seventeen Lok Sabha seats across 13 states and two Union Territories will vote on Tuesday in the third phase of the General Elections. This is the largest of the seven phases of voting.
Voting will be conducted between 7 am and 6 pm on Tuesday. All the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home turf Gujarat along with all 20 seats in Kerala and two seats in Goa will go to polls on Tuesday. Besides this, parts of Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal will also vote.
Two Union Territories – Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu – with one seat each will also elect its MPs. Polling in Tripura East Lok Sabha seat, which was postponed because of law and order considerations, will also be held on Tuesday, while byepolls in four Assembly seats in Gujarat will be held.
All the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state go to polls in the third phase. Of these, the Gandhinagar seat is significant because the BJP has replaced its six-time MP LK Advani with party president Amit Shah. This is Shah’s Lok Sabha election debut. He is contesting against the Congress’ CJ Chavda.
BJP’s six-time MP Mansukhbhai Vasava is hoping to retain his Bharuch seat. He has represented this constituency since 1988. The Congress has fielded Sherkhan Pathan against Vasava.
The Mehsana seat is also crucial since it covers the homes towns of Modi and Amit Shah. However, the Patidar reservation agitation had also begun in Mehsana district and became a key issue in the region. Patidars make up around 25% of the electorate here.
The BJP had won all 26 seats in Gujarat in the 2014 elections.
Byepolls in four Assembly seats of Dhrangadhra, Manavadar, Unjha and Jamnagar (Rural) will also be held.
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All 20 seats in the state will vote today. The BJP is hoping to make an entry in the Left-aligned state this time. In 2014, the BJP did not win a single seat in Kerala.
The most talked about constituency in Kerala is Wayanad, from where Congress President Rahul Gandhi is contesting. Gandhi’s decision contest from Wayanad, in addition to Amethi, had not gone down well with the Left. Gandhi is pitted against BJP ally Bharath Dharma Jana Sena’s Thushar Vellapally and Communist Party of India’s candidate PP Suneer.
The Congress’ Shashi Tharoor will try to retain his Thiruvananthapuram seat, which he has represented since 2009. This time, he is contesting against BJP’s Kummanam Rajasekharan, who was the party’s state unit chief from 2015 to 2018.
Pathanamthitta is also an important seat, and is where the BJP had led several protests on the Sabarimala temple matter. K Surendran is the BJP candidate here and will contest against the Congress’ Antony and CPI(M)’s Veena George. Thrissur is another important constituency, from where the three main contenders are the Left front’s Rajaji Mathew Thomas, TN Prathapan of the Congress coalition, and actor-turned-politician Suresh Gopi of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
Vadakara, where there have been multiple political killings, is a Congress stronghold. Here the Congress’ K Muraleedharan and CPI(M) P Jayarajan are contesting.
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Fourteen of Maharashtra’s 48 seats will vote in the third phase.
In Raigad constituency, Union Heavy Industries Minister Ananth Geete will take on former Maharashtra Finance Minister and NCP Leader Sunil Tatkare. In 2014, Geete had defeated Tatkare by only 2,110 votes. Geete has represented this constituency since 2009.
Baramati is another significant seat. It is one of the four seats the Nationalist Congress Party won in 2014. Two-term MP Supriya Sule – daughter of NCP Chief Sharad Pawar – will contest against BJP’s Kanchan Kul here.
The Ahmednagar seat is a prestige battle. Sujay Vikhe-Patil, the son of the Opposition’s Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, is contesting on a BJP ticket against Sangram Jagtap of the NCP.
Former Maharashtra Finance Minister Eknath Khadse’s daughter-in-law and sitting Raver MP Raksha Khadse is seeking a re-election this time. In 2014, she was the youngest Lok Sabha MP at the age of 26.
In the Aurangabad seat, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen-Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi candidate Imtiaz Jaleel will take on four-time Shiv Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire.
Four seats will go to polls in Assam.
In the Gauhati seat, it will be a battle between former Municipal Corporation Mayor Queen Oja and film and TV personality Bobbeeta Sharma of the Congress. There is likely to be a tough fight in the Dhubri and Kokrajhar seats as well. In Dhubri, Badruddin Ajmal’s seat, the Congress and All India United Democratic Front will fight for the Muslim vote.
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The Anantnag Parliamentary constituency will vote in three phases, starting on Tuesday. While polling stations part of Anantnag district will vote today, those in Kulgam district will vote on April 29. The remaining polling stations in Shopian and Pulwama districts will vote on May 6.
The Peoples Democratic Party has fielded its president Mehbooba Mufti from this seat. The Congress and the National Conference are in a “friendly contest” here. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had said a “friendly contest” means that there will be no “cut-throat contest” between the Congress and National Conference. “If either party wins, it is a win-win situation for both of us,” he had said. Ghulam Ahmad Mir is the Congress’ candidate while the National Conference has fielded Hasnain Masoodi. The BJP has fielded Sofi Mohammad Yousuf from Anantnag.
In 2014, Mehbooba Mufti had won this seat while defeating National Conference candidate Mehboob Beigh.
Fourteen of the state’s 28 Lok Sabha seats will vote today. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge will seek a third term from Kalaburagi. Here, he is contesting against the BJP’s Umesh Jadhav. Kalaburagi has traditionally been a Congress stronghold. Only in 1996 and 1998 was the seat was represented by a non-Congress MP.
Shivamogga is another significant constituency where the BJP has fielded BS Yeddyurappa’s son BY Raghavendra.
Of the 10 seats that go to polls today, the Mainpuri, Rampur and Pilibhit seats are significant.
In Mainpuri, Samajwadi Party veteran Mulayam Singh Yadav will try to retain his bastion. He is contesting against BJP’s Prem Singh Shakya. Mulayam Singh had said that this would be his last election.
The key contestants in Rampur are Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and BJP’s Jaya Prada. The two leaders have stoked controversy in the run up to the election. Khan had made sexist remarks about Jaya Prada, after which the Election Commission banned him from campaigning for 72 hours. He had reportedly said at a rally that the colour of “the current Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate’s” underwear is khaki. His son also made misogynistic remarks about Jaya Prada. But Jaya Prada was also accused of violating the poll code. On April 18, the actor-turned-politician had said at a campaign rally in Kemri: “Considering the comments Azam Khan makes against me, Mayawati ji you must think unki X-ray jaisi aankhein aapke upar bhi kaha-kaha daal kar dekhengi [Mayawati should think how his X-ray-like eyes will look at her].”
Pilibhit has a new BJP candidate this time – Varun Gandhi has replaced his mother Maneka Gandhi in the seat.
The Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance is pinning its hope on the dominance of the Yadav community in seats like Etah, Firozabad, Badaun and Aonla while the BJP is banking on Modi’s popularity and the non-Yadav OBC vote bank.
Of the 10 seats that will vote today, the BJP had won seven in 2014.
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Five constituencies – Balurghat, Malda North, Malda South, Jangipur and Murshidabad – will vote on Tuesday. All five seats will have a four-cornered contest between the Trinamool Congress, the BJP, the Congress and the Left Front.
Of these five constituencies, the BJP is hopeful of winning the Balurghat seat. The saffron party has increased its vote share in the constituency by more than 14% in the last Lok Sabha polls. The constituency was a Left bastion till 2014. The TMC has fielded sitting MP Arpita Ghosh against BJP’s Sukanta Majumdar. In 2014, Arpita Ghosh won the seat by more than 1.6 lakh votes.
In Jangipur, TMC’s Khalilur Rehman will contest against former President and Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit Mukherjee. The BJP has fielded Mafuja Khatun and the CPI(M) Zulfikar Ali.
Here is a state-wise list of constituencies that will vote on April 23:
Assam: Four constituencies
Bihar: Five constituencies
Chhattisgarh: Seven constituencies
Goa: Two constituencies
- North Goa
- South Goa
Gujarat: Twenty-six constituencies
- Ahmedabad East
- Ahmedabad West
- Chhota Udaipur
Jammu and Kashmir: One constituency
Karnataka: Fourteen constituencies
- Uttara Kannada
Kerala: Twenty constituencies
Maharashtra: Fourteen constituencies
Odisha: Six constituencies
Tripura: One constituency
- Tripura East
Uttar Pradesh: Ten constituencies
West Bengal: Five constituencies
- Malda North
- Malda South
- Dadra and Nagar Haveli: One constituency
- Daman and Diu: One constituency