National

Phase III polling across 15 states today

NEW DELHI, APR 22 (IANS) | Publish Date: 4/22/2019 12:07:26 PM IST

People in 15 states will vote on Tuesday in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections scheduled for Tuesday which will see a maximum of 117 seats going to the polls in a single phase of seven-phased election.

Voting will be completed in all seats of Gujarat, Kerala, Goa, Karanataka, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu with the third phase polls. The presidents of the two main political parties are in fray in the third phase with BJP chief Amit Shah making his Lok Sabha election debut from Gandhinagar and Congress President Rahul Gandhi contesting from Wayanad.

BJP will aim to defend the 62 of the 117 third phase seats it won in 2014. This time BJP will be tested in its bastion Gujarat, where polling will be held for all 26 seats, apart from Karanataka, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh, where the party had done well in 2014.

In Karnataka, the saffron party faces tough challenge from the Congress-JD-S combine. The BJP faces a strong challenge in Uttar Pradesh, as the third phase of Lok Sabha elections will be fought in the “Yadav belt”. In Maharashtra, the third phase of polling will be held in some NCP strongholds, including Baramati, Madha, Kolahpur and Satara. 

In Chhattisgarh, the BJP has sought to beat the anti-incumbency wave against its sitting MPs by replacing all of them. Congress is focusing more on local issues, telling the voters that its government has quickly delivered on its promises.  Of the five seats in Bihar, BJP had won only one in 2014 and it is again contesting one seat this time. JD(U), BJP’s ally in the NDA, is contesting three seats while the LJP is contesting one seat. As part of the grand alliance, RJD is contesting three seats, while the Congress and Vikasheel Insaan Party are contesting one seat each. In Odisha, the elections will witness a battle between several political heavyweights as well as former bureaucrats. 

In the four constituencies of lower Assam that will go to the polls on Tuesday, both Congress and AIUDF are seeking to gain votes by targeting the BJP over its stance in support of the Citizenship Bill. 

In West Bengal where it faces a multi-cornered challenge from the Trinamool Congress, the BJP and the CPI-M, the Congress will seek to at least retain the three seats it won in 2014.

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