Voting underway in seven states for 64 constituencies
Polling in Uttar Pradesh for 15 Lok Sabha seats began Wednesday, officials said. By-polls for two state assembly seats is also being held. As many as 243 candidates are in fray for the Lok Sabha.
In Amethi, incumbent MP and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi faces Kumar Vishwas of the Aam Aadmi Party and Smriti Irani of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Bypolls are being held in two state assembly constituencies - Rampur Khas and Vishwanathganj.
Jammu and Kashmir
Polling in Jammu and Kashmir for two Lok Sabha seats began Wednesday at 7 a.m., officials said.
As many as 19 candidates are vying for the two parliamentary constituencies - Baramulla and Ladakh.
In Baramulla, incumbent MP Sharief Ud-Din Shariq of the National Conference is pitted against Ghulam Mohammad Mir from the Bharatiya Janata Party and Muzaffar Hussain Baig of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The Congress has not fielded any candidate for the seat.
In Ladakh, which is the seat of independent Hassan Khan, Thupstan Chhewang of the BJP is fighting it out against Tsering Samphel of the Congress. Independents Syed Mohd. Kazim and Ghulam Raza are also in the fray.
Amidst tight security, voting began today for the election to six Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, four of which are located in the former Maoist hotbed of Jangalmahal.
Central forces have been deployed in all the six seats of Jhargram, Binpur, Bandwan, Balarampur, Jaypur and Baghmundi and helicopters, bomb detection and disposal squad and anti-landmine devices have been lined up to maintain security.
Area domination, route marches and flag marches have also been undertaken in the entire region.
The Left Front is under pressure to retain the six seats, Bankura, Jhargram, Purulia, Medinipur, Bishnupur and Asansol, it had won in the 2009 Lok Sabha election, though with a reduced margin.
Of the six, the CPI(M) had won four and Forward Bloc and CPI shared one seat each in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
An electorate of 8877071 comprising 4608838 men and 4268191 women voters and 42 from the other gender will decide the fate of 72 candidates.
One of the most watched constituencies in this phase is Bankura where Basudeb Acharia is pitted against former actress Moonmoon Sen of Trinamool Congress.
The BJP is likely to be a crucial factor in at least two seats - Asansol and Bankura, and has generated a lot of interest among the electorate.
Polling time has been reduced by two hours in the assembly segments of Jhargram, Binpur and Bandwan under Jhargram Parliamentary constituency, and Balarampur, Baghmundi and Jaypur under Purulia Parliamentary constituency.
Voting began today in the crucial fifth phase Bihar Lok Sabha election in seven constituencies to decide the fate of 118 candidates, including LJP president Ramvilas Paswan and Rabri Devi, former state Chief Minister Lalu Prasad's wife.
Paswan and Rabri are contesting from Hajipur(SC) and Saran, both situated in the Gangetic plains of Bihar.
The other five seats are Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, Maharajganj and Ujiyarpur.
Polling would also be held in Chiraiya and Maharajganj assembly constituencies in this phase also.
Five of the seven LS seats going to the poll had been won by JD(U) in 2009 while Saran and Maharajganj had gone to RJD.
Over 1.08 crore voters are expected to cast their votes in 9,804 polling stations amidst elaborate security arrangement. The Indo-Nepal border has been sealed for the purpose. Two helicopters will carry out air surveillance while 66,211 jawans will man the polling stations.
A total 145 companies of the central para-military forces are also lined up for poll duty besides seven units of the mounted police, 36 motor boats, motorized boats and 375 motorcycles for petrolling in riverine areas.
Balloting in Uttarakhand for all its five Lok Sabha seats began Wednesday, officials said.
As many as 74 candidates are in the fray.
In Hardwar, the Congress has fielded Renuka Rawat, wife of Chief Minister Harish Rawat, against former chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Harish Rawat had won from Hardwar in 2009 and served as union minister for water resources but resigned earlier this year after being appointed chief minister.
BJP candidate and former chief minister Maj. Gen. (retd) B.C. Khanduri is pitted against Harak Singh Rawat of the Congress in Garhwal.
Saket Bahuguna, son of former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, will fight for the Congress from Tehri Garhwal constituency against Mala Rajya Laxmi Shah of the BJP.
In 2009, the Congress had bagged all five seats.
Polling for 25 Lok Sabha constituencies and 175 Legislative Assembly seats in Seemandhra began here this morning to decide the fate of TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu and YSRCP president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy among others.
As many as 3.68 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise at 40,709 polling stations spread across the 13 districts of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema (together known as Seemandhra), according to state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Bhanwar Lal.
TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu, YSRCP president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, Union Ministers V Kishore Chandra Deo, M M Pallam Raju, Panabaka Lakshmi and former minister D Purandeswari are some of the prominent candidates in the fray.
The elections are a do-or-die battle for main contenders TDP and YSRCP with Congress believed to be at the receiving end of the public anger over "unilateral" division of Andhra Pradesh.
There are 333 contesting candidates for parliamentary constituencies and 2,241 nominees for assembly segments.
Among the 175 assembly constituencies, polling would take place from 7 AM to 6 PM in 165 seats. But in eight Naxal-hit segments, polling would be held from 7 AM to 5 PM and in two others from 7 AM to 4 PM.
Noting that elaborate security arrangements have been made for polling, the CEO has said 272.1 companies of Central Police Force have been deployed. This is in addition to the 95,158 state police force.
Over Rs 137 crore unaccounted cash has been seized so far in undivided AP during enforcement of poll code.
Polling concluded in Telangana region on April 30.
Polling in Himachal Pradesh for its four Lok Sabha seats and by-poll for one assembly seat began Wednesday, officials said.
As many as 38 candidates are in the fray for the parliamentary seats - Kangra, Mandi, Hamirpur and Shimla.
The main contenders include Shanta Kumar of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Kangra and† Congress candidate Pratibha Singh from Mandi.
Incumbent BJP MPs from Hamirpur and Shimla, Anurag Singh Thakur and Virender Kashyap, are re-contesting from their respective constituencies.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha election, the BJP had won three seats, while Congress leader Virbhadra Singh had won the Mandi seat.
Virbhadra Singh surrendered the seat in 2012 when he became the chief minister and his wife Pratibha Singh was elected as an MP in the by-poll.
Polling is being held at 7,382 polling stations.
Over 4.8 million electors are eligible to vote.