8th phase of Lok Sabha polls under way: Fight for 64 seats
Voting is under way for the penultimate round of the nine-phased Lok Sabha elections today. Polling is taking place for 64 seats, in the states of Andhra Pradesh (25 Lok Sabha seats and 175 Assembly seats), eastern Uttar Pradesh (15 seats), Bihar (7 seats), Uttrakhand (5 seats), Himachal Pradesh (4 seats), West Bengal (6 seats), Baramulla and Ladakh.
The big fishes on the
fray this time are Rahul Gandhi (Congress), Smriti Irani (BJP) and
Kumar Vishwas (AAP) from Amethi, Varun Gandhi (BJP-Pilibhit),
Mohammad Kaif (Congress-Phulpur), actor Moon Moon Sen (TMC), playback
singer Babul Supriyo (BJP-Asansol), Rabri Devi (RJD) and Ram Vilas
Paswan (Lok Janshakti Party).
The other big things in
this phase are, the voters from Andhra Pradesh
(Seemandhra), who will
be casting their votes for the first time after the decision of
bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. The political dynamics are going to
change in Seemandhra region, which was once a vote bank for congress.
And a multi-cornered
contest in Amethi, where the Congress vice-president is directly
pitted against Bharatiya Janata Party’s Smriti Irani and Aam Aadmi
Party’s Kumar Vishwas.
The five constituencies
of Uttarakhand will give a tough fight for both BJP and Congress,
where the re-habitation of the flash flood victims and disaster
management was a major poll issue.
This phase will mark the
completion of more than 92 per cent of voting, i.e. polling for 502
of the 543 Lok Sabha seats will be completed. The final phase of
polling will be on 12 May in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.