New Delhi: Voting for the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections 2019 is scheduled to begin at 7 AM on Sunday. In total, 59 constituencies in six states and 1 Union Territory – Delhi will go to the polls on Sunday. Elections will be held in 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 10 seats in Haryana, eights constituencies each in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, seven seats in Delhi and four in Jharkhand.
To ensure the smooth conduct of the polling, the Election Commission has set up over 1.13 lakh polling stations.
Over 10.17 crore voters will decide the fate of 979 candidates including several Union ministers namely Radha Mohan Singh, Harshvardhan and Maneka Gandhi, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress leaders Digvijay Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia.
59 Constituencies in Six States And Seven Seats in Delhi
Uttar Pradesh: In Uttar Pradesh, polling will be held in 14 constituencies — Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Phulpur, Allahabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Shrawasti, Domariyaganj, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Lalganj, Azamgarh, Jaunpur, Machhlishahr, Bhadohi.
The BJP had won 13 of the 14 constituencies in 2014. The Azamgarh seat was won then by SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav. This time, Akhilesh is trying to retain his father’s prestigious seat against Bhojpuri film star Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’ of the BJP.
Last year, the BJP was defeated in the by-polls in Phulpur and Gorakhpur constituencies. While, the anti-BJP alliance would like to retain its grip over both the seats, the saffron party is looking to wrest them from the opposition.
Besides, Sultanpur is considered an interesting contest as the BJP has fielded Union minister Maneka Gandhi for the seat won by her son Varun in 2014. The seats appear tricky for Maneka as BJP strategists are relying on a division of Congress and Gathbandhan votes, besides possible counter-polarisation of non-Yadav and non-Jatav Dalit and OBC votes.
The eight seats in Madhya Pradesh which are set to go to the polls on Sunday are Bhopal, Morena, Bhind (SC), Gwalior, Guna, Sagar, Vidisha and Rajgarh. This will be the third phase of polling in Madhya Pradesh, with the first and second phases having been held on April 29 and May 6. The last phase will be held on May 19.
The Bhopal seat will see an interesting fight between senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh and BJP nominee Pragya Singh Thakur. Guna will seal the fate of AICC general secretary and Congress candidate Scindia. Union minister and BJP nominee Narendra Singh Tomar is in the fray from Morena.
Haryana: Ten seats including Ambala, Kurukshetra, Sirsa, Hisar, Karnal, Sonipat, Rohtak, Bhiwani-Mahendragarh, Gurgaon, Faridabad will vote today. Union ministers Rao Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar are among the 223 candidates in fray in Haryana.
Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, a sitting MLA of Congress from Rohtak district, is once again trying his luck to enter the lower House, this time from Sonipat. Earlier, Hooda had remained a four-time MP from Rohtak parliamentary constituency. Hooda’s son Deepender is seeking re-election for the fourth term from Rohtak as Congress nominee.
Among other candidates, Union minister Birender Singh’s son Brijendra Singh (BJP) and former chief minister Bhajan Lal’s grandson Bhavya Bishnoi (Congress), both political greenhorns, are contesting from the Hisar Lok Sabha seat, where they face sitting MP and leader of newly floated JJP Dushyant Chautala, grandson of former chief minister, O P Chautala.
Former Union minister Kumari Selja and state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar are fighting from Ambala and Sirsa, respectively, for the party.
West Bengal: Polling will be held in Tamluk, Kanthi, Ghatal, Jhargram, Medinipur, Purulia, Bankura, Bishnupur constituencies. The ruling Trinamool Congress, the BJP, the Congress and the Left Front constituents – the CPI(M), the CPI and the AIFB – are the main contenders in the state.
Jharkhand: Polling will be held in Dhanbad, Giridih, Jamshedpur and Singhbhum (ST) seats, all won by the BJP in 2014. Altogether, 66,85,401 voters, including 31,79,720 women and 116 of the third gender, are eligible to exercise their franchise.
State minister Chandraprakash Choudhary, former cricketer Kirti Azad and ex-chief minister Madhu Koda’s wife Gita are among the 67 candidates whose fate will be sealed in the third phase of polls in the state.
Bihar: Polling will be held in eight Lok Sabha seats – Sheohar, Valmiki Nagar, Pashchimi Champaran, Purvi Champaran, Siwan, Gopalganj, Maharajganj and Vaishali. Among the 127 candidates, 16 are women – eight in Vaishali, four in Siwan and one each in Sheohar, Maharajganj, Purvi Champaran and Valmiki Nagar.
Four sitting MPs, including Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, are among the 127 candidates contesting in Bihar.
In the national capital, voting will be held in all seven seats — Chandni Chowk, North East Delhi, East Delhi, New Delhi, North West Delhi, West Delhi, South Delhi.
As many as 164 candidates, including 18 women, are in the fray. It is expected to be a three-cornered fight involving the BJP, AAP and the Congress. Prominent candidates in the fray include veteran Congress leader Sheila Dikshit, Olympian boxer Vijender Singh, Union minister Harsh Vardhan, Atishi from AAP and her BJP rival cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir.
The elections in this phase are seen as a big test for the BJP which had won 45 of these seats in 2014, with the Trinamool Congress bagging 8, the Congress two and the Samajwadi Party and the LJP one seat each among others.
(With agency inputs)