Seventy-two Lok Sabha seats across nine states will vote on Monday in the fourth phase of the General Elections. More than 12 crore voters will decide the fate of 961 candidates in this phase, according to the Election Commission.
Three phases of voting have already taken place – on April 11, April 18 and April 23. The first phase had a final voter turnout of 69.5%, while the second phase recorded an overall voting percentage of 69.44%. The estimated turnout in phase three was 67.99%. All phases were marked by glitches in electronic voting machines and sporadic incidents of violence. The elections will take place in three more phases till May 19, and the results will be declared on May 23.
Parts of Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal will vote on Monday. Elections for 42 Assembly seats in Odisha and bye-polls for Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, Nighasan in Uttar Pradesh and Krishnaganj in West Bengal will also be held. With this phase, elections in Maharashtra and Odisha will end, while the process will begin in Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan
Voting will take place from 7 am to 6 pm in all seats except in Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir, where it will end at 4 pm. More than 1.4 lakh polling booths have been set up for this phase, according to the Election Commission.
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Five constituencies will go to the polls in Bihar on Monday. Around 87 lakh voters will choose from 66 candidates.
Begusarai is one of the most keenly-watched seats in this phase. The fight here is between Communist Party of India’s Kanhaiya Kumar, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Giriraj Singh and the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Tanvir Hassan.
Singh, 66, a minister in the Modi government and the face of hardline Hindutva in Bihar, is best known for his vitriol against Muslims. Hassan, 62, is a member of the Bihar legislative council, who contested and lost the 2014 election. Kumar shot into national limelight in February 2016 when, as president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union, he was arrested and charged with sedition.
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In Darbhanga, the BJP’s Gopal Jee Thakur, the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Abdul Bari Siddiqui and the Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mohammad Ali Ashraf Fatmi are the main candidates. The seat was represented by Kirti Azad of the BJP since 2009 but he has quit the party and is now contesting on a Congress ticket in Jharkhand.
In Ujiarpur, the state BJP chief Nityanand Rai will fight against Rashtriya Lok Samta Party chief Upendra Kushwaha. The RLSP leader is also contesting from the Karakat seat, which will vote on May 19. In Samastipur, Lok Janshakti Party’s Ramchandra Paswan – the brother of Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan – and Congress’ Ashok Ram are the main candidates.
Jammu and Kashmir
The Anantnag Parliamentary constituency is voting in three phases. While part of Anantnag district voted on April 18, people in Kulgam district will vote today. The remaining polling stations in Shopian and Pulwama districts will vote on May 6.
On Saturday, a video went viral of a police van being used for distributing food packets at a Bharatiya Janata Party rally in Anantnag. The police ordered an inquiry soon after.
The Peoples Democratic Party has fielded its president Mehbooba Mufti from Anantnag, while the Congress and the National Conference are in a “friendly contest” here. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had said that this means there will be no “cut-throat contest” between the Congress and National Conference. Ghulam Ahmad Mir is the Congress’ candidate while the National Conference has fielded Hasnain Masoodi. The BJP has fielded Sofi Mohammad Yousuf from Anantnag.
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Over 45 lakh voters are expected to decide the fate of 59 candidates in Jharkhand today. The Congress, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (Prajatantrik) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal have formed an alliance against the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state.
In Chatra, the RJD and the Congress will be involved in a “friendly fight”. The BJP has fielded Sunil Singh, while the Congress has fielded Manoj Kumar Yadav and the RJD Subhash Yadav.
Six of Madhya Pradesh’s 29 seats vote today. The Congress, which only won two seats – Kamal Nath in Chhindwara and Jyotiraditya Scindia in Guna – in the 2014 elections, is hoping to better its performance, especially after it won the Assembly elections in December.
Bye-elections to the Chhindwara Assembly constituency will also be held today. The bye-election was necessitated after Congress MLA Dipak Saxena resigned to clear the way for Kamal Nath.
Nath is contesting from Chhindwara Assembly seat while his son Nakul Nath is the Congress’ candidate in the Chhindwara parliamentary constituency. The parliamentary seat has mostly been held by Kamal Nath since the 1980s. Nakul Nath will contest against BJP tribal candidate Natthan Shah.
Elections will take place in 17 of Maharashtra’s 48 seats today, including all constituencies in Mumbai and those in neighbouring Kalyan and Thane.
In Mumbai South, newly appointed city chief of the Congress Milind Deora is up against Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant. The seat is currently held by Sawant, who defeated Deora in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Deora, a former Union minister, had held the seat between 2004 and 2014.
In Mumbai North, Congress candidate and actor Urmila Matondkar will contest against BJP incumbent Gopal Shetty. Mumbai North-Central will see a fight between sitting BJP MP Poonam Mahajan and former Congress MP Priya Dutt.
In Dhule, Union Minister of State for Defence and BJP leader Subhas Bhamre will contest against the Congress’ KR Patil. Nashik will see a fight between the Nationalist Congress Party’s Sameer Bhujbal and Shiv Sena MP Hemant Godse.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s grandnephew Ajit Pawar will contest the Maval Lok Sabha seat against the Shiv Sena’s Shrirang C Barne.
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Six parliamentary seats and 42 Assembly seats go to the polls in the state today. Kendrapara is among the important constituencies in this phase. Four-time Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is likely to face a tougher fight in this election than in earlier Assembly polls.
Former Lok Sabha MP Baijayant “Jay” Panda will contest the election from Kendrapara on a BJP ticket. He joined the BJP in March, nine months after he resigned from Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal. Panda will contest against the Congress’ Dharanidhar Nayak and the Biju Janata Dal’s Anubhav Mohanty.
Thirteen of the state’s 25 constituencies vote today. The remaining will vote in the next phase on May 6.
Former Union minister Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra Singh is the Congress’ candidate in Barmer. He is up against the BJP’s Kailash Choudhary.
Two members of erstwhile royal families are in the fray in Rajasthan in this phase. Former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s son Dushyant Singh will contest from the Jhalawar-Baran constituency against the Congress’ Pramod Sharma. Singh is a member of the erstwhile Dholpur royal family.
Diya Kumari of the erstwhile Jaipur royal family will fight against the Congress’s Devkinandan Gurjar in Rajsamand.
As many as 142 candidates are contesting in 13 constituencies in the fourth phase on Monday. The main candidates to look out for in the state in this phase are BJP’s Sakshi Maharaj, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav, and Congress leader Salman Khurshid.
Sakshi Maharaj is trying to retain his Unnao seat. The BJP leader, known for several controversial statements, had, earlier this month, threatened to curse people if they don’t vote for him. Last month, he had claimed that elections are being fought in the name of the country and there will be “no election after that”. He is fighting against the Samajwadi Party’s Pooja Pal and the Congress’ Annu Tandon.
In 2014, Samajwadi Party’s Dimple Yadav won against BJP’s Subrat Pathak. The two leaders will be contesting against each other again from Kannauj constituency this time. Kannauj has traditionally been a Samajwadi Party bastion. The party has not lost the seat in 20 years.
Former External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is the Congress candidate for the Farukhabad seat. His opponents are the Bahujan Samaj Party’s Manoj Agarwal and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Mukesh Rajpoot.
The Kanpur seat has been closely watched as the BJP did not give party veteran and incumbent MP Murli Manohar Joshi a ticket to contest from his constituency. It instead named Uttar Pradesh state minister Satyadev Pachauri its candidate. Pachauri will contest against the Congress’ Prakash Jaiswal and the Samajwadi Party’s Ram Kumar.
Eight of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha constituencies go to the polls in this phase. Elections in the state have been spread through all seven phases, from April 11 to May 19.
As many as 68 candidates are contesting in these eight seats. All these seats will have a four-cornered contest between the Trinamool Congress, the BJP, the Congress and the Left Front.
The Election Commission last week banned West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party leader Mahadev Sarkar from campaigning for 48 hours, for making sexist remarks at Trinamool Congress MLA Mahua Moitra. She will be fighting against the Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s Santanu Jha, Congress’ Intaj Ali Shah and the BJP’s Kalyan Chowbey in Krishnanagar.
In Asansol, Union minister Babul Supriyo will contest against the CPI(M)’s Gouranga Chatterjee, Trinamool’s actor-turned–politician Moon Moon Sen and Congress’ Biswarup Mondal. Asansol is also important to the BJP as it was only one of two seats the saffron party had won in the 2014 elections. There were riots in Asansol after Ram Navami processions in March 2018.
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Here is a state-wise list of constituencies that will vote on April 29:
Bihar: Five constituencies
Jammu & Kashmir: One constituency
Jharkhand: Three constituencies
Madhya Pradesh: Six constituencies
Maharashtra: 17 constituencies
- Mumbai North
- Mumbai North-West
- Mumbai North-East
- Mumbai North-Central
- Mumbai South-Central
- Mumbai South
Odisha: Six constituencies
Rajasthan: 13 constituencies
- Tonk-Sawai Madhopur
Uttar Pradesh: 13 constituencies
West Bengal: Eight constituencies
- Bardhaman Purba