Fifth phase: Voting to be held on Monday on 49 Lok Sabha seats; Amethi, Rae Bareli among high-profile contests : The Tribune India

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Fifth phase: Voting to be held on Monday on 49 Lok Sabha seats; Amethi, Rae Bareli among high-profile contests

Election Commission flags urban apathy

Fifth phase: Voting to be held on Monday on 49 Lok Sabha seats; Amethi, Rae Bareli among high-profile contests

Polling staff carrying EVMs and other polling material leave for poll duty for the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections, in Baramulla, on Sunday. PTI



PTI

Mumbai/Lucknow, May 19

Polling will be held on Monday in 49 constituencies in six states and two UTs in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections that will decide the electoral fate of several prominent leaders like former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani and former J-K chief minister Omar Abdullah.

Over 8.95 crore people, including 4.26 crore females and 5,409 third-gender electors, are eligible to vote in this round and 9.47 lakh polling officials have been deployed across 94,732 polling stations.

Among the seats going to polls, 13 are in Maharashtra, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, seven in West Bengal, five in Bihar, three in Jharkhand, five in Odisha, one in J-K and the lone seat in Ladakh. This round covers the least number of seats (49) in the seven-phase elections.

It is another important phase for the BJP as over 40 of these seats were with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

On the eve of polling, the Election Commission on Sunday pointed out that Mumbai, Thane and Lucknow have shown apathy towards voting in the past and asked city dwellers there to turn out in higher numbers.

The poll authority noted that in the past these cities have "suffered" from urban apathy in voting. "The Commission especially calls upon these city dwellers to erase the stigma by turning out in higher numbers," it said.

So far, the last four phases have registered a total voter turnout of 66.95 per cent.

Other prominent candidates include Union ministers Piyush Goyal (Mumbai North, Maharashtra), Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Fatehpur, UP) and Shantanu Thakur (Bangaon, WB); LJP (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan (Hajipur, Bihar), Shiv Sena's Shrikant Shinde (Kalyan, Maharashtra), and BJP's Rajiv Pratap Rudy and RJD president Lalu Prasad's daughter Rohini Acharya (both Saran, Bihar).

Voting will also be held in 35 assembly constituencies in Odisha, where BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is among the candidates.

In Maharashtra, where polling will be held in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies, including six in Mumbai, Piyush Goyal, Bharati Pawar (Dindori) and Kapil Patil (Bhiwandi) are among the key nominees of the BJP, which has also fielded prominent lawyer Ujjwal Nikam (Mumbai North Central).

Shiv Sena's Shrikant Shinde (Kalyan) and city Congress chief Varsha Gaikwad (Mumbai North Central) are also among the candidates in this phase, which is the last for the state in this election.

In Uttar Pradesh, Rajnath Singh (Lucknow), Irani (Amethi), Jyoti, Kaushal Kishor (Mohanlalganj) and Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma (Jalaun) are the five Union ministers in the fray. Voting will also take place for the assembly bypolls to the Lucknow East assembly constituency.

Rahul Gandhi, who has contested from Wayanad in Kerala, is also in the fight for Rae Bareli, a Nehru-Gandhi family pocket borough represented by his mother Sonia Gandhi since 2004. The BJP has fielded UP minister Dinesh Pratap Singh.

In Amethi, Irani, who had defeated Rahul Gandhi in 2019, is seeking a second term, while KL Sharma, an aide of the Gandhi family, has been fielded by the Congress.

Senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh is eyeing a fourth term from Lucknow. He is up against SP MLA from Lucknow Central Ravidas Mehrotra.

In the Faizabad Lok Sabha seat, which covers the temple town of Ayodhya, the electoral contest is mainly between sitting BJP MP Lallu Singh, who is seeking a hat-trick, and Awadhesh Prasad, the SP MLA from Milkipur (SC) assembly constituency in Ayodhya.

In Baramulla, besides Omar Abdullah, former separatist Sajad Lone, ex-MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid alias 'Engineer Rashid', currently lodged in the Tihar jail, and the PDP's former Rajya Sabha member Fayaz Ahmad Mir are among the 21 others contesting. 

#Congress #Lok Sabha #Lucknow #Mumbai #Rahul Gandhi #Rajnath Singh #Smriti Irani


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