Lok Sabha Election Fourth Phase Voting. Voting begins on 96 Lok Sabha seats, electoral fate of many prominent candidates will be decided

Voting for the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024 is today. Voting is in 96 parliamentary constituencies across 10 states and union territories. Voting will begin at 7 am and end at 5 pm. In this phase, voting will be held on a total of 96 Lok Sabha seats from 10 states and one union territory. In the fourth phase, 25 Lok Sabha constituencies of Andhra Pradesh, 5 of Bihar, 1 of Jammu and Kashmir, 4 of Jharkhand, 8 of Madhya Pradesh, 11 of Maharashtra, 4 of Odisha, 17 of Telangana, 13 of Uttar Pradesh, and 8 of West Bengal. Voting will take place on the seats.

In this phase, the electoral fate of many prominent candidates like Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav, Union Minister Giriraj Singh, Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra and AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi will be decided. In Andhra Pradesh, elections will be held on May 13 for all 25 Lok Sabha seats and also for all 175 assembly seats. There is a triangular contest in the state between YSRC, Congress-led ‘India’ alliance and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The NDA in the state includes BJP, Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP and Pawan Kalyan’s Janasena Party. In this phase, voting is also to be held on 28 assembly seats of Odisha. A total of 1,717 candidates are in the fray for Lok Sabha seats and over 19 lakh polling personnel have been deployed at 1.92 lakh polling stations for over 17.70 crore eligible voters, including 8.73 women, in this phase.

Some of the prominent candidates in this phase include former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav (Kannauj, UP) and Union ministers Giriraj Singh (Begusarai, Bihar), Nityanand Rai (Ujiarpur, Bihar) and Raosaheb Danve (Jalna, Maharashtra). Apart from these, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhary and Trinamool Congress candidate and former cricketer Yusuf Pathan (both from Baharampur, West Bengal), BJP’s Pankaja Munde (Beed, Maharashtra), AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi (Hyderabad-Telangana) and Andhra Pradesh. State Congress President Y S Sharmila (Cuddapah) is in the fray. Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra is trying to score a hat-trick from Kheri seat of Uttar Pradesh. His son is an accused in the 2021 Lakhimpuri violence case. Mahua Moitra of Trinamool Congress is also trying to reach Parliament again from Krishnanagar seat of West Bengal. He was expelled from the Lok Sabha for accepting cash in exchange for asking questions. Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha is contesting re-election from Asansol, where he is pitted against senior BJP leader S S Ahluwalia. Former BJP West Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh and Trinamool Congress’s Kirti Azad are contesting from Bardhaman-Durgapur.

Till the third phase of Lok Sabha elections, voting has been completed on 283 out of 543 seats. 17 from Telangana, 25 from Andhra Pradesh, 13 from Uttar Pradesh, five from Bihar, four from Jharkhand, eight from Madhya Pradesh, 11 from Maharashtra, four from Odisha, eight from West Bengal and one Lok Sabha seat from Jammu and Kashmir (Srinagar). Voting will take place on Monday. About 17.48 lakh voters are eligible to vote in the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat elections and 24 candidates are in the fray. This is the first major election in Kashmir after most of the provisions of Article 370 were removed in August 2019. National Conference has fielded Shia leader Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, while youth leader Waheed Para is in the fray from the People’s Democratic Party. Apni Party has made Ashraf Mir its candidate while BJP has not fielded a candidate. The BJP-led NDA currently has MPs from more than 40 of these 96 Lok Sabha seats.

Voting in the first three phases of Lok Sabha elections was 66.14 percent, 66.71 percent and 65.68 percent respectively. The Election Commission believes that heat wave conditions are one of the reasons for lower turnout in the last three phases compared to the 2019 parliamentary elections. The normal timing of voting is from 7 am to 6 pm. The voting time is reduced keeping in mind the terrain, sunset time and security situation. In this fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections, issues like reservation, appeasement policy, corruption and employment dominated the election campaign. Of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, there is a tough fight between SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and sitting BJP MP Subrata Pathak in Kannauj, while in Unnao, sitting BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj is facing SP’s Anu Tandon.

Officials said that all arrangements have been made for the voting to be held on Monday. “A total of 17,47,810 voters have been enrolled in the fourth phase, which includes 8,75,938 males, 8,71,808 females and 64 third gender voters,” he said. There are around 11,682 disabled persons and 705 voters above 100 years of age.” 2,135 polling stations have been set up in parts of Srinagar, Ganderbal, Pulwama, Budgam and Shopian districts. There are elections for all 25 Lok Sabha seats and also for all 175 assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh. In Andhra Pradesh, YSRCP is contesting all 175 assembly seats and 25 Lok Sabha seats. In NDA, TDP is contesting on 144 assembly seats and 17 Lok Sabha seats, while BJP is contesting on six Lok Sabha seats and 10 assembly seats. Janasena is contesting on two Lok Sabha seats and 21 assembly seats. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, YSRCP won 22 seats, while Chandrababu’s party won three Lok Sabha seats. With the voting on eight seats of Madhya Pradesh, elections will be completed on all 29 seats of the state. The next three phases of voting in the country will be held on May 20, May 25 and June 1. Counting of votes will take place on June 4.

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