7th phase of polls today

Fate of Sonia, Modi among others to be decided

7th phase of polls today

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi are among the 1,295 candidates in the fray for the 89 Lok Sabha constituencies set to go to polls on Wednesday.

According to the Election Commission, in all 13,96,04,510 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in 1,52,853 polling stations set up in seven states and two Union territories in the seventh phase of the one-and-half-month-long parliamentary elections.
 This is going to be the third-largest polling exercise of the current nine-phase Lok Sabha elections in terms of number of constituencies going to polls.

Sonia is seeking re-election from the family pocket-borough of Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh, where 14 of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies will go to polls on Wednesday. 

BJP president Rajnath Singh is trying his luck in Lucknow, where the Congress has fielded its former state unit chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi. 

BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi is taking on sitting Congress MP and Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal in Kanpur. Union Minister of State for Rural Development Pradeep Jain Aditya has been pitted against BJP leader Uma Bharti in Jhansi. 

Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Jitin Prasada is contesting against the Bahujan Samaj Party’s Dawood Ahmed in the Dhaurahra constituency of the state.

The BJP, hoping to gain exponentially in Uttar Pradesh, is relying a lot on the constituencies going to polls in the seventh phase. In 2009, the party won in only one of the 14 constituencies that are going to polls on Wednesday, while the Samajwadi Party, now in power in the state, had bagged four seats and the Bahujan Samaj Party three.
 The Congress, which had bagged 22 seats from UP in 2009, had won in six of the 14 constituencies going to polls on Wednesday. 

All the 26 Lok Sabha constituencies in Gujarat and 13 in Punjab will go to polls on Wednesday. 

Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, is contesting from the Vadodara Lok Sabha constituency of the state, against All India Congress Committee general secretary Madhusudan Mistry. 

The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate is also contesting from Varanasi in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

BJP veteran L K Advani is contesting from Gandhinagar, while the Congress’ Shankarsinh Vaghela is trying his luck in Sabarkantha.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha and BJP heavyweight Arun Jaitley is contesting from Amritsar in Punjab, against the Congress' Amarinder Singh.

Shiromani Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, daughter-in-law of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, is seeking re-election from Bhatinda, opposite the Congress' Manpreet Singh Badal, nephew of the SAD chief, who broke away from the Badal clan and floated the Punjab People’s Party in 2012.

Polling will be held in seven of the 40 constituencies in Bihar on Wednesday. Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav is facing Rajesh Ranjan, alias Pappu Yadav, of the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Vijay Kushwaha of the BJP, as he seeks re-election from Madhepura. While the JD(U) had won five of the seven seats in 2009, the BJP, its then-ally, had bagged two.

The 17 seats of Telangana—the new state proposed to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh—will also go to polls in the seventh phase. 

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