Over 10.17 cr to vote in Phase 6 today

Over 10.17 cr to vote in Phase 6 today

In 2014, BJP had won 44 of 59 seats this phase, Cong just 2

Muzaffarpur: Election officials leave after collecting VVPAT, EVMs and other polling materials from collection centres ahead of the sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls, at Muzaffarpur, Saturday, May 11, 2019. (PTI Photo) (PTI5_11_2019_000068B)

Over 10.17 crore voters are expected to cast votes in about 1.13 lakh polling stations as 59 constituencies are set to go to the polls in the sixth and the penultimate phase of polling for the Lok Sabha elections on Sunday.

Altogether 979 candidates are in the fray to enter the Lok Sabha in this phase and represent 59 constituencies spread over six states and the National Capital Territory of Delhi, according to the Election Commission.

The sixth phase will see 8 constituencies in Bihar, 10 in Haryana, 4 in Jharkhand, 8 in Madhya Pradesh, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, 8 in West Bengal and 7 in the National Capital Territory of Delhi going to polls on Monday.

Fourty four of the 59 constituencies going to polls in Phase 6 had elected BJP candidates in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

But one of those constituencies — Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh — had sent a Samajwadi Party MP to the Lok Sabha in a by-election later.

The BJP’s ally, Lok Janashakti Party, had won a Lok Sabha seat from Bihar, while another ally Apna Dal had won another from Uttar Pradesh.

The Opposition parties, however, hope that the ruling party and its allies may not be able to win as many seats this time as they had won in the last election.

The Congress had in 2014 won two of the 59 seats, while the TMC had won eight and the Samajwadi Party two.

The results of the Lok Sabha polls in Haryana and Delhi would have bearings on the Assembly elections in the states.

The state Assembly elections in Haryana and Delhi would take place later this year and early next year, respectively.

In these two states, the Congress, BJP and AAP have high stakes and it is not limited to these elections.

Among the prominent candidates contesting in this phase are former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

Altogether 424 constituencies have already gone to the polls in the five phases held on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29 and May 6, registering a declining trend in polling percentage.

The turnout was relatively high in the first two phases, 69.50% and 69.44%, respectively. But it came down to 68.40% in the third phase and continued to decline to 65.51% in the fourth phase. The fifth phase saw the lowest ever turnout at 64.16%.

The seventh and the last phase is scheduled to take place on May 19. The votes will be counted on May 23.

The polling is taking place for elections to 542 of the 543 elected seats in the Lok Sabha, as the Election Commission cancelled the polling in the Vellore constituency in Tamil Nadu after the seizure of a huge amount of money there.