India polls: Stage set for sixth phase, two former CMs among prominent candidates

Polling will be held on 58 seats across seven states and a union territory in addition to Assembly seats in Odisha


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Polling officials gather to collect Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) at a distribution centre in New Delhi on the eve of the sixth phase of voting in India's general election. — Photo: AFP
Polling officials gather to collect Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) at a distribution centre in New Delhi on the eve of the sixth phase of voting in India's general election. — Photo: AFP

Published: Fri 24 May 2024, 8:54 PM

The penultimate round of India's mammoth Lok Sabha battle will see polling on 58 seats across seven states and a union territory on Saturday with the Election Commission having made all arrangements to ensure smooth and peaceful polling.

The sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls includes eight seats in Bihar, all 10 seats in Haryana, one seat in Jammu and Kashmir, four in Jharkhand, all seven seats in Delhi, six in Odisha, 14 in Uttar Pradesh and eight in West Bengal. A total of 889 candidates are in the fray.

Forty-two assembly constituencies in Odisha are also going for polls in the sixth phase. Assembly elections are being held in the state simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections in the state.

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All parliamentary seats in Delhi and Haryana will go to the polls in this phase.

The prominent candidates in the fray include two former Chief Ministers — Manohar Lal Khattar and Mehbooba Mufti. Khattar is contesting as the BJP candidate from Karnal and Mehbooba Mufti as the PDP nominee from Anantnag —Rajouri.

Some of the prominent candidates in the fray include Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra and former Union Minister Maneka Gandhi.

Bansuri Swaraj, Somnath Bharti, Manoj Tiwari, Kanhaiya Kumar, Dinesh Lal Yadav alias 'Nirahua', Dharmendra Yadav, Abhijit Gangopadhyay, Agnimitra Paul, Naveen Jindal, Raj Babbar, Deepender Singh Hooda, Kumari Selja and Aparajita Sarangia are among other prominent candidates in the fray.

Some of the key seats in this phase include New Delhi, North-East Delhi, North-West Delhi and Chandni Chowk in the national capital and Sultanpur and Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag-Rajouri, West Bengal's Tamluk, Medinipur, Haryana's Karnal, Kurukshetra, Gurgaon, Rohtak and Odisha's Bhubaneswar, Puri and Sambalpur are some of the other key seats.

Stakes are high for the BJP as also for Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and other constituents of INDIA bloc in this phase of the election.

The riveting contest in Delhi has AAP and Congress jointly taking on the BJP, which won all seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital in the last two elections.

While Congress is contesting on three seats in the national capital, AAP is contesting on four. The two parties are part of the INDIA bloc.

The BJP campaign has been bolstered by rallies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and other party leaders. Senior leaders of Congress have also held rallies in the national capital.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has been released on interim bail by the Supreme Court in the Delhi excise policy case, also sought votes for AAP and Congress candidates.

AAP and Congress have also joined hands in Haryana where BJP won all the seats in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Some seats in the state, including Hisar, are witnessing multi-cornered contests.

Apart from BJP and Congress, the electoral stakes are high for INLD, Jannayak Janata Party in Haryana. The state will also go for assembly polls months after the Lok Sabha election.

Odisha is also seeing some key battles in Sambalpur, Bhubaneshwar and Puri.

Election Commission said that the concerned CEOs and state officials have been directed to take adequate measures to manage the adverse impact of hot weather or rainfall wherever predicted.

Polling stations will have ample shade, drinking water, ramps, toilets, and other basic facilities to ensure that polling takes place in a comfortable and secure environment.

The Election Commission appealed to voters to turn out in large numbers at polling stations and vote with responsibility and pride. It specially reminded voters in urban centres like Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad about the right and duty to vote and break the trend of urban apathy.

Polling has already has been completed on 428 parliamentary constituencies for 25 states and UTs in the first five phases of general elections.

The Lok Sabha elections will be completed on June 1 after the seventh phase of polls in which voters from 57 constituencies will exercise their franchise. The results will be declared on June 4.


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