A total of 117 seats, spread across 15 States and 2 Union Territories, will be at stake in the third phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.
All seats in Gujarat (26), Kerala (20), Goa (2), Dadra and Nagar Haveli (1) and Daman and Diu (1) will go to polls in the third of the seven-phase electoral exercise.
Besides, polling will also be held in four seats in Assam, five in Bihar, seven in Chhattisgarh, one in Jammu and Kashmir, 14 in Karnataka, 14 in Maharashtra, six in Odisha, 10 in Uttar Pradesh, and five in West Bengal.
Tripura East constituency, that was supposed to go to polls on 18 April, will also vote on Tuesday as the date of polling was deferred by the Election Commission.
Campaigning for the third phase of polling ended on Sunday, with top leaders making a last-gasp effort to sway voters in favour of their respective parties.
Among key candidates in the running are BJP President Amit Shah, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, SP Patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor among others.
Election 2019: Key Contestants for Phase 3 Polling
All 26 seats in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state will go to polls in the third phase.
During campaigning in Gujarat, the two principal parties – the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress – exchanged bitter barbs, with leaders from both groups exuding confidence of a good showing. The BJP had swept all 26 seats in the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Gandhinagar: Replacing BJP veteran leader and six-time MP LK Advani, party president Amit Shah will look to secure the Gandhinagar seat in his Lok Sabha election debut. The Congress, meanwhile, will hope that its contender, MLA CJ Chavda, can counter Shah.
Dahod: Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Jasvantsinh Bhabhor will seek a second-term against Congress’ Babubhai Katara. The seat was a Congress stronghold until 1998.
Bharuch: Congress’ Sherkhan Pathan is facing an uphill task against BJP’s six-time MP Mansukhbhai Vasava. The constituency has had only three MPs since 1977 and has been represented by Vasava since 1998.
Surat: Darshana Jardosh, BJP MP since 2009, will be looking to edge past Congress’ Ashok Adhevada in the Surat seat, which was represented by former Prime Minister Morarji Desai for 23 years.
Fourteen of Maharashtra’s 48 seats go to the ballot in the third phase. The prominent candidates in the third phase are:
Jalna: State BJP president Raosaheb Danve is in the fray against Vilas Autade of the Congress.
Baramati: Supriya Sule, the daughter of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, is contesting against BJP's Kanchan Kul.
Ahmednagar: Sujay Vikhe Patil is the BJP's nominee. He is the son of Congress veteran and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil. Patil joined the BJP in the run-up to the polls, after the NCP refused to vacate the Ahmednagar seat for the Congress. He is now pitted against NCP's Sangram Jagtap.
Raigad: Union Heavy Industries Minister Ananth Geete will take on former Maharashtra Finance Minister and NCP Leader Sunil Tatkare in a re-match of 2014.
In 14 constituencies that will go to polls on 23 April, BJP is contesting all the seats. Congress and JD(S), that are facing the polls in alliance, have fielded their candidates in 12 and two constituencies respectively.
Gulbarga: Mallikarjun Kharge is pitted against Umesh Jadhav, who had joined the BJP after quitting the Congress as MLA ahead of the polls.
Shimogga: Former Chief Minister Yeddyurappa's son BY Raghavendra is pitted against another former chief minister S Bangarappa's son Madhu Bangarappa.
Uttara Kannada: BJP’s Union Minister of State for Skill Development Ananth Kumar Hegde will take on Anand Asnotikar of the JD(S).
The BJP has a huge stake in this phase in Uttar Pradesh with the party having won seven out of the ten seats in the region in 2014, leaving three for the Samajwadi Party. But this time around, the party is facing a tough challenge from SP-BSP-RLD combine
Rampur: Campaigning for this phase witnessed a new low with SP leader Azam Khan making an "indecent" remark, targeting his opponent Jaya Prada in Rampur by allegedly speculating on the colour of her underwear and attracting the saffron party's wrath, besides that of the National Commission for Women.
The other political heavyweights, whose fate will be decided in the third phase of elections in UP, include Mulayam Singh Yadav from Mainpuri, Union minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar, who is fighting from Bareilly and BJP's Varun Gandhi from Pilibhit.
Voting on all of Kerala’s 20 constituencies will occur in the third phase.
Wayanad: Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s decision, to contest from Wayanad in addition to Amethi, will be put to the test in the third phase of the elections. He will face BJP ally Bharath Dharma Jana Sena’s Thushar Vellapally.
Ernakulam: Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam is up against CPI(M)’s former Rajya Sabha MP P Rajeev, and Congress’ Ernakulam MLA Hibi Eden.
Thiruvananthapuram: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor will look to edge past BJP’s Kummanam Rajasekharan, who was the party’s state unit chief from 2015 to 2018. Tharoor has represented Kerala’s capital since 2009.
Madhepura: Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik) founder Pappu Yadav will take on seven-time MP Sharad Yadav, who broke away from the Janata Dal (United) in 2017.
Supaul: Congress’ Ranjeet Ranjan is pitted against JD(U)’s Dileshwar Kamait. Ranjan is the wife of Pappu Yadav.
The Lok Sabha polls are being conducted in seven phases between 11 April and 19 May. The election results will be declared on 23 May.
(With inputs from PTI)
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