New Delhi [India], Apr 29 (ANI): Polling for the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha polls began on Monday in 71 Lok Sabha constituencies spread across nine states.
Over 12.79 crore voters will decide the fate of 945 candidates today. Appealing voters to turn out in large numbers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on his Twitter handle: “Another phase of the General Elections begins today. I hope those voting today do so in large numbers and break the voting records of the previous three phases. A special appeal to young voters to head to the polling booth and exercise their franchise.”
As per the election schedule, polling is underway in five seats in Bihar, one in Jammu and Kashmir, three in Jharkhand, six in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha each, 17 in Maharashtra, 13 in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh each, and eight in West Bengal.
Apart from these, polling is being held for 42 Assembly constituencies in Odisha. The voting will continue till 6 pm for most of the constituencies.
In Bihar, polling has begun for five Lok Sabha constituencies — Darbhanga, Ujiarpur, Samastipur, Begusarai, and Munger. A total of sixty-six candidates are in the fray for these five seats. Voting is being been held at 8,834 polling stations where around 87,02,313 voters are casting their votes.
All eyes are on Begusarai seat from where CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar is up against Union Minister Giriraj Singh and RJD’s Tanveer Hassan. Several prominent Bollywood personalities including Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Swara Bhaskar, and Prakash Raj have campaigned for the former JNU Students Union president.
In Jammu and Kashmir, polling is underway in Anantnag Lok Sabha seat. Polling is being held at 433 polling booths where 3,44,224 people are expected to cast their votes.
In Jharkhand, Rajmahal, Dumka, and Godda seats are voting. Here, 59 candidates are in the fray. Polling is underway at 3,013 polling stations where 45,26,693 are expected to exercise their right to franchise.
In Madhya Pradesh, polling is underway in Sidhi, Shahdol, Jabalpur, Mandla, Balaghat, and Chhindwara. Around 108 candidates are contesting. As many as 1,05,55,689 voters are likely to exercise their franchise at 13,491 polling stations.
Chhindwara is being keenly watched from where Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s son Nakul Nath is contesting on the Congress ticket. The election is being seen as a test to Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s popularity.
Kamal Nath has represented this seat for 40 years before he was appointed the state Chief Minister in December last year.
In Maharashtra, 17 seats — Nandurbar, Dhule, Dindori, Nashik, Palghar, Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Thane, Mumbai North, Mumbai North-West, Mumbai North-East, Mumbai North-Central, Mumbai South–Central, Mumbai South, Maval, Shiru, and Shirdi are witnessing polling.
Voting is being held at 33,314 polling stations where 3,11,92,823 people will decide the fate of 323 candidates.
Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora, Congress leader Milind Deora and Priya Dutt are some of the high-profile candidates whose fate is sealed in the EVMs today.
Special wheelchair compatible taxis are arranged by the election commission to ferry specially abled voters from their houses to polling booths in Mumbai
In Odisha, polling is underway in Mayurbhanj, Balashore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapada, and Jagatsinghpur. Here, 52 candidates are in the fray. Polling is taking place at 10,792 booths and 95,14,883 voters are expected to cast their vote their franchise.
Former BJD leader and presently BJP vice president Baijayanta Panda is contesting from Kendrapada.
A total of 336 candidates are also contesting from 42 Assembly constituencies.
“Special attention will be given on Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency and additional police force has been deployed,” Odisha Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar had said on Sunday.
In Rajasthan, 115 candidates are in the fray from these 13 seats — Tonk-Sawai Madhopur, Ajmer, Pali, Jodhpur, Barmer, Jalore, Udaipur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Kota, and Jhalawar-Baran. A total of 2,57,76,993 voters are expected to cast their votes.
In Uttar Pradesh, pooling is being held in Shahjahanpur, Kheri, Hardoi, Misrikh, Unnao, Farrukhabad, Etawah, Kannauj, Kanpur, Akbarpur, Jalaun, Jhansi, and Hamirpur.
Here, the fate of 154 candidates is being decided by 2,38,88,367 voters at 27,513 polling stations.
Samajwadi Party leader Dimple Yadav who is also the wife of party president Akhilesh Yadav is contesting from Kannauj while BJP has retained Sakshi Maharaj from Unnao seat.
In West Bengal, polling has begun on eight seats — Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat, Bardhaman Purba, Bardhaman–Durgapur, Asansol, Bolpur, and Birbhum.
Union Minister Babul Supriyo is contesting from Asansol seat against Trinamool Congress’ Moon Moon Sen.
The seven-phased Lok Sabha polls began on April 11. The first phase recorded 69.45 per cent voter turnout across the country. The second phase of polling took place on April 18, which logged 69.43 per cent voting. The third phase of elections held on April 23 witnessed a turnout of 66 per cent.
The counting of votes will be done on May 23. (ANI)