Fifth phase of LS poll in 121 seats tomorrow

Fifth phase of LS poll in 121 seats tomorrow

India will witness elections in the maximum number of seats in a single phase tomorrow when polling will be held in 121 seats across 12 states as Lok Sabha elections will cross the half-way mark in the more than a month-long exercise.

Nandan Nilekani (Cong), Maneka Gandhi, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda (JD-S), Union Minister Veerappa Moily (Cong) and Srikant Jena, Supriya Sule and Lalu Prasad's eldest daughter Misa Bharti figure among the 1,769 candidates in the fifth of the nine-phased elections.

Tomorrow an electorate of 16.61 crore have the right to exercise their franchise.

Of the total seats, Congress has 36 seats while its main challenger BJP has 40 seats.

Polling will take place in 28 seats in Karnataka, followed by Rajasthan (20), Maharashtra (19), Uttar Pradesh and Odisha (11 each), Madhya Pradesh (10), Bihar (7), Jharkhand (6), West Bengal (4), Chhattisgarh (3), Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur (1each).

Karnataka witnessed intense campaign by both national as well as state bigwigs for a sharply bipolar fight.

Prominent candidates in the fray include Nandan Nilekani (Cong), former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda (JD-S) and Union Minister Veerappa Moily (Cong).

he CPI(M) has won the Tripura (East) seat 11 out of 15 times between 1952 and 2009 and did it consecutively since 1996.

The Election Commission has set up nine all-women polling stations in the constituency.
Sikkim is set to hold simultaneous polls for its lone Lok Sabha constituency and 32 Assembly seats tomorrow.

In the Lok Sabha seat, SKM's Tek Nath Dhakal is expected to give sitting SDF MP Prem Das Rai a tough fight. BJP, Congress, Trinamool and Aam Aadmi Party have also put up candidates.

With the support growing for the newly-formed Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front is presented with a strong challenge to its 20-year-old uninterrupted rule.

Assam will undergo the second of the three-phased Lok Sabha polls in the backdrop of a bandh in Autonomous District (ST), one of the three constituencies, capping a high-pitched campaign.

Polling will be held in the Autonomous District (ST), comprising Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts, Karimganj (SC) and Silchar - the last two being in the Barak valley.

The Karbi Peoples' Liberation Tigers has called an indefinite bandh in the Autonomous District since April eight demanding a separate autonomous tribal state under Article 244(A) of the Constitution.

The contest in Karimganj (SC) and Silchar is triangular between the Congress, BJP and AIUDF, while in the Autonomous District (ST) it would be direct between the Congress and the BJP.

In Karimganj (SC), the contest is between the two-time sitting Congress MP Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya, BJP's Krishna Das and AIUDF's Radheyshyam Biswas.

In Silchar, sitting BJP MP and former Union minister Kabindra Purkayastha is locked in a battle with Congress candidate Sushmita Dev, who is also the Silchar MLA and daughter of former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev, and AIUDF's Kutubuddin Ahmed Mazumdar.

In the Autonomous District (ST), the contest is directly between four-time sitting Congress MP Biren Singh Engti and BJP's Joyram Engleng.

Besides Lok Sabha elections in Odisha, over 50 of the 70 Assembly seats in the state are going to polls tomorrow.

As the seats going to polls are in Maoist-hit areas, the Election Commission has stepped up security measures with 156 companies of central paramilitary forces and around 27,000 policemen besides three helicopters.

Maoists have given a poll boycott call in certain pockets.

Altogether 21 Assembly segments have been identified as highly affected by Left Wing extremism, while 15 are moderately affected and 20 less affected.


Another 22 Assembly seats have been identified as communally sensitive where extra vigil is needed to be maintained during the elections.

"We have an additional 60 companies (100 personnel in a company) of CPMF besides an existing 96 companies of central forces in the state.

The central forces will be deployed in the first phase polling. Three helicopters have been pressed into election duty," Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Odisha, Mona Sharma said. 

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