The stage is set for the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections in which 95 constituencies spread across 13 states and union territories will vote on Thursday in the mega seven-phase electoral exercise. Polling in Vellore, scheduled for tomorrow, stands cancelled over abuse of money power while voting in East Tripura constituency has also been deferred from April 18 to April 23.
Union ministers Jitendra Singh, Jual Oram, Sadananda Gowda and Pon Radhakrishnan, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja and Kanimozhi are among the 1,600-odd contestants in the second phase of Lok Sabha polls .
Here is the list of constituencies that will vote on Thursday
Seats going to polls (5) Mangaldoi, Karimganj, Silchar, Nawgong, autonomous district
The Silchar seat, one of the two Lok Sabha seats in Assam’s Barak Valley (other being Karimganj), is headed for a tough fight between the Congress and the BJP. The latter’s candidate Rajdeep Roy is taking on incumbent Sushmita Dev in a seat that saw huge support for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which the BJP has been trying to push.
In 2014, Sushmita, the daughter of seven-time parliamentarian Santosh Mohan Dev, had defeated BJP’s Kabindra Purkayastha by just over 35,000 votes, becoming one of only three Congress MPs to win from the state.
Seats going to polls (5) Banka, Kishanganj, Katihar, Bhagalpur, Purnia
The second phase of elections in Bihar on Thursday will witness polling in five Lok Sabha seats which are critically important for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U). The BJP had contested all the five seats in the last general elections and lost all of these
The Janata Dal (United) is contesting all the five seats, including Purnea which it had won in 2014 contesting separately from the BJP-led NDA. Congress’ Tariq Anwar will be contesting from the Katihar constituency against JD(U)’s Dulal Chandra Goswami. Purnea MP Santosh Kumar Kushwaha of the JD(U) is in a straight fight with Uday Singh of the Congress who had won the seat on BJP ticket in 2004 and 2009 but quit the saffron party in protest that it is giving “too many” seats to the JD(U).
Seats going to polls (3) Rajnandgaon, Mahasamund, Kanker
The BJP has lost from Rajnandgaon only once since 1999 when the Congress candidate won the 2007 by-elections by just over 21,000 votes.
But this time, after the BJP’s controversial decision to drop all 10 sitting MPs — the Congress had won only Durg seat, out of the state’s 11, in 2014 — there is no Abhishek Singh or Raman Singh in the fray from Rajnandgaon. This time, the BJP candidate is Santosh Pandey. He faces Bholaram Sahu of Congress, former MLA from Khujji Vidhan Sabha segment.
Seats going to polls (14) Hassan, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi Chikmagalur, Chitradurga, Tumkur, Mandya, Bangalore North, Bangalore Central, Bangalore South, Chikkballapur, Kolar, Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Bangalore Rural
For over close to two decades, the Bengaluru South seat has been an invincible BJP stronghold. Now, contesting for the party is 28-year-old Tejaswi Surya against Congress candidate Rajya Sabha MP B K Hariprasad.
In the 2014 polls, riding on a Modi wave, late Union minister Ananth Kumar had defeated Congress’s Nandan Nilekani with a margin of over 2 lakh votes.
While the Janata Dal (S) and the Congress have been having an unseemly rift in Mandya and Mysuru-Kodagu parliament constituencies, in Tumkur, both the coalition parties have set aside their differences and are working for the former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s victory.
JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda’s is hoping that if there is a fractured mandate at the centre, his coalition-building skills and his son-of-farmer image might help him garner some support for a shot again at the PM’s post.
Seats going to polls (10) Akola, Amravat, Nanded, Parbhani, Beed, Buldhana, Hingoli, Osmanabad, Latur, Solapur
A total of 179 candidates are in the fray from ten constituencies in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra.
Prominent candidates in the fray are former chief ministers Ashok Chavan and Sushilkumar Shinde of Congress, who are contesting from Nanded and Solapur seats, respectively.
In the 2014 elections, the NDA won 8 out of these 10 seats, riding the Narendra Modi wave, whereas the Congress won the remaining two seats – Nanded and Hingoli. Beed constituency has the highest number of contestants at 36 while 10 candidates are contesting from Latur.
Seats going to polls (8) Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Hathras, Fatehpur Sikri, Nagina, Amroha, Mathura, Agra
Western UP that goes to poll on April 18 is full of candidates who have been part of multiple parties in the past.
In Nagina, the incumbent MP, BJP’s Yashwant Singh, had been with SP, while the Congress candidate, Omwati Devi, has been with all the four principal parties in the state — SP, BSP, BJP and Congress — at different times of her political career.
Mathura, a mostly rural belt with around 18 lakh votes, also goes to poll. Here, Hema Malini is pitted against Narendra Singh of the RLD, which is a part of the alliance with the SP and BSP, and Mahesh Pathak of the Congress.
Seats going to polls (38) Arakkonam, Arani, Chennai Central, Chennai North, Chennai South, Chidambaram, Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Erode, Kallakurichi, Kancheepuram, Kanniyakumari, Karur, Krishnagiri, Madurai, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Namakkal, Nilgiris, Perambalur, Pollachi, Ramanathapuram, Salem, Sivaganga , Sriperumbudur, Tenkasi, Thanjavur, Theni, Thoothukkudi, Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelveli, Tiruppur, Tiruvannamalai, Viluppuram, Virudhunagar, Tiruvallur
38 out of 39 constituencies in Tamil Nadu will vote in a single phase on April 18. The Election Commission cancelled elections in the Vellore constituency over abuse of money power. The battle is between the AIADMK and the DMK. While the AIADMK is in alliance with the BJP, DMK has a tie-up with the Congress. The campaigning for the polls ended on a bitter note with Income Tax raids at leaders of the opposition party, including Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi.
The search triggered a political row with Kanimozhi saying she was being targeted because she represents the Opposition alliance. DMK’s Thoothukudi candidate Kanimozhi, daughter of the late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi is fighting her debut election this time.
Seats going to polls (2) Srinagar, Udhampur
Over 29.81 lakh voters will decide the fate of 24 candidates, including former J-K chief minister Farooq Abdullah and Union minister Jitendra Singh, contesting the Srinagar and Udhampur seats, which go to polls in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections on Thursday. Twelve candidates each are in fray for both Srinagar and Udhampur parliamentary constituencies
National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah won the by-elections after defeating his close rival Nazir Khan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) by 10,766 votes. The seat was left vacant after Tariq Hamid Karra’s resignation.
Prominent candidates include Union minister Jitendra Singh who is seeking re-election on a BJP ticket, Dogra dynasty scion Vikramaditya Singh fighting as a Congress candidate, Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan founder Choudhary Lal Singh and National Panthers party chairman Harsh Dev Singh.
Manipur (1) Inner Manipur, Odisha (5) Aska, Bargarh, Bolangir, Sundargarh, Kandhamal, West Bengal (3) Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, Raiganj, Puducherry (1).
In Odisha, Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik is contesting from his home turf Hinjili in Ganjam district and Bijepur in Bargarh. In West Bengal, the EC has deployed 194 companies of central forces in the three constituencies going to polls to cover 80 per cent of the 5,390 booths for free and fair polling. The fight for the lone Lok Sabha seat in Puducherry is expected to be mainly between the ruling Congress, which has put up former Speaker V Vaithilingam and the opposition AINRC’s K Narayanasamy.