Mumbai, Apr 23: On Tuesday, India woke up to the biggest phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections as 116 seats go to polls. In the first phase (April 11), Bihar saw the lowest voter turnout with 50 percent while West Bengal received the highest turnout with 81 percent.
In the second phase of polls, 68 percent voter turnout was recorded. All parliamentary constituencies in Gujarat, Kerala, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Goa and Daman and Diu will vote on April 23 in a single phase. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.
Among the key contestants in the fray are BJP chief Amit Shah (Gandhinagar, Gujarat), Congress president Rahul Gandhi (Wayanad, Kerala), and Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav (Mainpuri, UP).
In this phase, five constituencies of Northeast will go to polls. It is crucial for BJP and its allies --- Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland People's Front.
AGP is contesting from the minority-dominated Barpeta and Dhubri seats while BPF is contesting from Kokrajhar. 20 seats from Northeast went to polls in the first two phases of voting.
In Assam’s Kokrajhar district, United People’s Party (Liberal) candidate Urkhao Gwra Brahma is pitted against BPF candidate and state social welfare minister Pramila Rani Brahma and independent MP and militant-turned-politician Naba Sarania.
Congress has fielded Sabda Ram Rabha, and CPI(M), Biraj Deka.
AIUDF has a stronghold in Dhubri and Barpeta. It was expecting Congress would go easy and allow it to win but Congress has fielded candidates in both the constituencies.
Bihar will be witnessing a two-pronged fight between two alliances- the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the 'Mahagathbandhan' or grand alliance, which includes Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), Vikasheel Insan Party (VIP), Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) (HAM-S).
NDA alliance constitutes BJP, JD(U) and LJP in Bihar. The seats going to polls are Jhanjharpur, Supaul, Araria, Madhepura, Khagaria.
Of the 11 seats, seven will go to polls in Chhattisgarh. The Congress has fielded Atal Shrivastav, state party general secretary, from the key constituency Bilaspur against BJP's Arun Sao. The BJP denied ticket to its incumbent MP Lakhan Lal Sahu.
In Durg, BJP is contesting against Congress' Pratima Chandrakar and BSP's Geetanjali Singh. Other seats are Surguja, Raigarh, Raipur, Korba, Janjir-Champa.
Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Both the Union Territories are represented by a single seat in the Lok Sabha seats.
In Daman and Diu, the BJP has fielded Lalubhai Patel who will be contesting against Congress's Ketan Patel. In Dadra Nagar Haveli, BJP's Natubhai Gomanbhai Patel will contesting against Congress' Prabhu Ratnabhai Tokiya.
All 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state will go to polls in the third phase. Both the national parties - the BJP and the Congress have fielded candidates on all the seats.
Among the key constituencies is Vadgam where the Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani is contesting as an independent candidate. A BJP bastion since 1990, Maninagar is also a key seat.