Lok Sabha Elections: Polling Underway in Amethi, Raebareli

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Lok Sabha Elections Polling Underway in Amethi, Raebareli

| Updated: May 20, 2024 11:08

Voting is underway in the crucial fifth phase of India’s 18th general election. The voters in forty-nine constituencies in six states and two union territories will vote to select the candidate to represent them for five years in the Lok Sabha.

Fourteen are from Uttar Pradesh, thirteen from Maharashtra, seven from West Bengal, five from Bihar, three from Jharkhand, five from Odisha, and one each from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh would make a tally of 49 Lok Sabha seats that go to poll today.

A bitterly fought election at a critical juncture in it’s political journey, this election is poised to attain important significance in the history of India. The fifth phase has very prominent or controversial leaders in the fray. The Election Commission said that 4.69 crore male voters, 4.26 crore female voters, and 5,409 third-gender electors, will seal the fate of 695 candidates.

All eyes would be on Amethi and Raebareli. Both traditional seats which the Gandhi family has contested for generations, will see a fierce battle this time. The Congress has fielded loyalist Kishori Lal Sharma in Amethi, who will take on Smriti Irani.

The BJP’s Smriti Irani defeated Rahul Gandhi, the top Congress leader and prime ministerial candidate in Amethi, in 2019, achieving an unthinkable feat. Sonia Gandhi has opted not to contest elections this time due to her health issues. Rahul Gandhi is contesting from the traditional Sonia Gandhi seat, Raebareli. Indira Gandhi used to contest from Raebareli.

Two seats in UP will also be watched with keen interest. Karan Bhushan Singh, son of controversial Brij Bhushan Singh and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, will be contesting from Kaisarganj and Fatehpur, respectively.

Other important battles include Lucknow, Mumbai, and Kashmir. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is fighting from Lucknow. Piyush Goyal is fighting from Mumbai North. In Mumbai North Central, the BJP has roped in Ujjwal Nikam, who argued on behalf of the state during the court trial of terrorist Ajmal Kasab of 26/11 infamy, from Mumbai North Central. Shrikant Shinde, son of Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde is contesting from Kalyan.

Rohini Acharya, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s daughter, who was in the news for having donated her kidney to his ailing father, is contesting from Saran in Bihar against the former aviation minister in the Vajpayee government, Rajiv Prasad Rudy. Chirag Paswan of LJP (Ram Vilas) will try to take back the traditional Ram Vilas Paswan seat.

Former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is fighting from Baramulla. Baramulla has 18 assembly segments in the three districts of Kupwara, Baramulla, Bandipora, and part of Budgam. This will be the first major political initiative after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019

Until now, the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 have seen a voter turnout at polling stations of about 66.95%. Around 451 million people have already voted, during the first four phases of the ongoing general elections.

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