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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.

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