Lok Sabha Elections Phase 4: Fate of THESE candidates at stake


Monday, 13 May 2024 (09:47 IST)
New Delhi: Marked by long queues before booths at most places and a general festive atmosphere, polling got underway at 7 am across 96 seats spread over nine states and a Union Territory in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections on Monday.
Voters – young and old – cutting across all barriers of gender, caste, religion and economy, came out in strength in the morning hours to enthusiastically participate in the biggest festival of democracy in the globe’s second most populated nation.
As many as 17.7 crore people are eligible to vote in this phase.
By the end of the day, the fate of 1,717 candidates will be locked in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) installed in 1.92 lakh polling stations under the supervision of over 19 lakh election officials.
Voting will continue until 6 pm. However, the Election Commission of India (ECI) said polling time in certain assembly segments of the 17 parliamentary constituencies in Telangana have been increased to improve voters’ participation.
In this phase, there are 25 constituencies in Andhra Pradesh and 17 seats in Telangana that will complete polling in one go.
Also going to the hustings are 13 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 11 in Maharashtra, eight seats each in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, five in Bihar, four seats each in Jharkhand and Odisha, and one seat in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The star candidates include Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav from Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh. He is up against the BJP's Subrat Pathak. In Lakhimpur Kheri of the same state, the BJP has fielded the minister of state for home in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, Ajay Mishra Teni, against SP’s Utkarsh Verma.
West Bengal is also witnessing some high-profile battles. Trinamool Congress’s (TMC) firebrand leader, Mahua Moitra, who was expelled from the lower House of Parliament over cash-for-query allegations, will contest against the BJP's Amrita Roy from the Krishnagar Lok Sabha constituency. Roy belongs to the royal family of Krishnanagar.
In Baharampur, the leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is crossing swords with the Gujarat-born ex-Indian cricketer Yusuf Pathan, who has been fielded by the TMC. The BJP has nominated Nirmal Kumar Saha in what could turn out to be a gripping triangular contest.
The constituency to watch out for in Bihar is Begusarai, where incumbent BJP heavyweight and Union Minister Giriraj Singh is seeking re-election, pitted against CPI candidate Awadhesh Kumar Rai.
Among the other hot seats going to the polls on Monday are Hyderabad, where AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi is being challenged by the BJP’s Maadhavi Latha.
Altogether, 364 observers (126 General Observers, 70 Police Observers, 168 Expenditure Observers), are on the field as the eyes and ears of the Commission. Additionally, Special Observers have been deployed in
certain states.
A total of 4,661 Flying Squads, 4,438 Static Surveillance Teams, 1,710 Video Surveillance Teams and 934 Video Viewing Teams are keeping surveillance round the clock to deal with any form of inducement of voters strictly and swiftly.
A total of 1,016 inter-state and 121 international Border check posts are keeping strict vigil on any illicit flow of liquor, drugs, or cash and freebies. Strict surveillance has been kept at sea and air routes, the ECI said.
The first three phases of the election, which were held on April 19, April 26, and May 7, saw voter turnout of 66.1, 66.7, and 65.68 per cent, respectively.
The Election Commission is conducting the polls for the 543-seat Lok Sabha in seven phases, with voting already completed in over half of the constituencies
The polling for the coming three phases will be held on May 20, May 25 and June 1.
The counting takes place on June 4.

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