Over 18.85 Cr voters to decide fate of 1640 candidates

Over 18.85 Cr voters to decide fate of 1640 candidates

Over 18.85 crore voters are expected to cast votes in about 2.10 lakh polling stations of 117 constituencies set to go to polls in the third phase of polling for the Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday.

Altogether 1640 candidates are in the fray to enter the Lok Sabha to represent the 117 constituencies spread over 13 States and two Union Territories.

The constituencies going to polls in the third phase include the last 14 of the total 28 parliamentary constituencies in Karnataka. The polling for the first 14 Lok Sabha seats from the state already took place in the second phase on April 18.

Among the 13 states going to polls on Tuesday, all eyes will be on Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, where 10 and 26 seats are up for grabs. The BJP had won all the 26 seats in Gujarat in 2014. The BJP president Amit Shah is contesting from Gandhinagar constituency in the State this time. Of the 10 Uttar Pradesh constituencies going to polls in the third phase, the BJP had won in seven in the 2014 elections. Among the prominent candidates whose fates would be decided on Tuesday are Mulayam Singh of the Samajwadi Party and Varun Gandhi of the BJP, who are contesting in Mainpuri and Pilibhit constituencies of the State.

Another state to watch is Kerala where Congress president Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency.

The Election Commission has made a unique arrangement for Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir, in view of the prevailing security situation. The constituency will go to polls in three phases. The polling will be held in Anantnag district of the Lok Sabha constituency on Tuesday. The Kulgam district of the constituency will go to polls on April 29 while Shopian and Pulwama districts will do on May 6.

Though polling for the Tripura East – one of the two Lok Sabha seats from Tripura – was scheduled to take place in the second phase, the EC postponed it to the third phase as it felt that additional security personnel should be deployed to maintain law and order.

The EC also cancelled the polling in Vellore Lok Sabha constituency in Tamil Nadu after seizure of a huge amount of money. The commission is yet to decide when the election would be held in the constituency, which was earlier scheduled to go to polls in the second phase on April 18.

The first and second of the seven phases of polling took place in 91 and 95 Lok Sabha constituencies on April 11 and April 18 – registering a turnout of 69.45% and 69.43% – respectively.

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