Phase Four of 2024 Lok Sabha Elections: Key Battles and Controversies Unfold Across States

The fourth phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha election commenced today with voting underway for 96 seats across 10 states and union territories, alongside balloting for all 175 seats of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly and 28 of 147 in Odisha. As stated by the original article, “The Lok Sabha seats in play today are all 25 in Andhra Pradesh and 17 in Telangana, in addition to 13 in Uttar Pradesh, 11 in Maharashtra, eight each in Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, five in Bihar, four in Odisha and Jharkhand, and Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar.” With today’s voting, the Lok Sabha election 2024 marks its halfway point, having concluded polling for 381 of the Lower House’s 543 seats.

The electoral landscape features prominent figures, including Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party vying from Kannauj and Mahua Moitra from the Trinamool Congress defending her Krishnanagar seat. Omar Abdullah, leader of the National Conference, stands from Srinagar, continuing the legacy of his father, Farooq Abdullah. The Congress’ Bengal chief, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, contests from Bahrampur against Trinamool’s Yusuf Pathan, a former Indian cricketer. Meanwhile, Dilip Ghosh of the BJP faces Kirti Azad, another ex-cricketer, in Bardhaman-Durgapur, reflecting the intense political dynamics in Bengal, where rivalries unfold amid the overarching narrative of the INDIA opposition bloc.

In Telangana, Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM faces BJP’s Madhavi Latha for the Hyderabad seat, continuing a long-standing political legacy. And in Andhra Pradesh, YS Sharmila, sister of Chief Minister Jagan Reddy, leads the Congress’ campaign from Kadapa, challenging her cousin, sitting MP YS Avinash Reddy. The BJP’s Giriraj Singh contests against Awadesh Kumar Rai in Begusarai, while Ajay Mishra Teni, also of the BJP, runs from UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri, a constituency that gained prominence during the 2021 farmers’ protest due to Teni’s son’s involvement in a controversial case.

In the 2019 elections, the BJP secured only 42 of the 96 seats up for grabs today, encountering challenges particularly in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The lead-up to this phase has been marked by controversies, with the Election Commission drawing attention for various issues, including notices to Mallikarjun Kharge and JP Nadda of the Congress and BJP respectively, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments on Muslims and wealth redistribution. The Election Commission also sent a notice to Kharge after his criticism of the commission’s credibility. Additionally, contentious remarks by Congress leader Sam Pitroda regarding inheritance taxes and racial diversity, along with the release of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on bail, have contributed to the election narrative.

The voting process for the Lok Sabha elections of 2024 commenced today, encompassing 96 seats across various states and union territories, alongside elections for the Andhra Pradesh Assembly and a portion of seats in Odisha. This phase marks a significant milestone, with half of the Lok Sabha seats having completed the polling process. Notable contenders include Akhilesh Yadav from the Samajwadi Party, Mahua Moitra from the Trinamool Congress, and Omar Abdullah from the National Conference, each contesting from their respective strongholds. The electoral battleground in Bengal features intense rivalries, with key players from different political parties, including the Congress, BJP, and Trinamool, engaging in high-stakes contests. Telangana witnesses a high-profile clash between Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM and Madhavi Latha of the BJP for the Hyderabad seat. Meanwhile, in Andhra Pradesh, familial ties intertwine with political ambitions as YS Sharmila of the Congress challenges her cousin, sitting MP YS Avinash Reddy, in Kadapa. The BJP faces its own challenges, with Giriraj Singh contesting in Begusarai and Ajay Mishra Teni in Lakhimpur Kheri, amidst controversies surrounding the latter’s son. The BJP’s performance in the 2019 elections sets the backdrop for this phase, with the party striving to improve its standing in states like Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Leading up to this phase, the Election Commission has been under scrutiny for various issues, including notices to key political figures and controversies surrounding remarks made by leaders from different parties.