Third Phase of Lok Sabha Polls Sees High-Stakes Voting Across 10 States and Union Territory

Featured & Cover Third Phase of Lok Sabha Polls Sees High Stakes Voting Across 10 States and Union Territory

Voting is underway in 93 constituencies spread across 10 states and a Union Territory in the third phase of the staggered seven-round Lok Sabha polls. However, the election in the Anantnag-Rajouri constituency in Jammu and Kashmir has been postponed to May 25.

Here’s a concise rundown of the key highlights in this significant event:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi exercised his franchise this morning at a polling booth in Ahmedabad. Alongside him, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel also cast their votes. The Election Commission reported a turnout of 61.45 percent as of 8 pm, although this figure is provisional and subject to change.

This phase of the election marks the conclusion of polling for more than half of the 543 parliamentary seats and could potentially signify the country’s verdict. Notably, the BJP has secured victory in the Surat seat uncontested, following the rejection of the Congress candidate’s nomination and the withdrawal of other contenders.

The Phase 3 election primarily covered areas known as BJP strongholds. In the previous 2019 elections, the BJP clinched 72 out of the 92 seats contested today, with 26 of them located in Gujarat alone.

Karnataka, another state where the BJP historically performed well, has faced challenges amidst a significant sex scandal involving its ally Janata Dal Secular. The BJP has sought to distance itself from this controversy.

In Maharashtra, where 11 out of 48 seats were up for grabs, political dynamics have been complex due to seismic shifts in recent years. Notably, the key battles included familial conflicts within the Pawar clan in Baramati, with uncle Sharad Pawar and nephew Ajit Pawar striving for dominance.

The states participating in the Phase 3 elections comprised Assam (4 seats), Bihar (5), Chhattisgarh (7), Goa (2), Gujarat (25), Karnataka (14), Madhya Pradesh (8), Maharashtra (11), Uttar Pradesh (10), West Bengal (4), and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (2).

Additionally, polling occurred in Betul, Madhya Pradesh, where the election initially scheduled for Phase 2 was postponed due to the demise of a candidate from Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party.

The postponement of the election in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag-Rajouri constituency stemmed from concerns raised by the BJP regarding adverse weather conditions. The closure of a tunnel connecting both ends of the constituency posed significant hurdles to campaigning, particularly for the BJP, which opted not to contest from this seat.

Key candidates in this phase included Union ministers Amit Shah from Gujarat’s Gandhinagar, Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna, Madhya Pradesh, Pralhad Joshi from Karnataka’s Dharwad, and former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh.

Opposition stalwarts in the fray comprised Samajwadi Party’s Dimple Yadav from Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh; Congress’s Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury from Baharampur, West Bengal, and Digvijaya Singh from Rajgarh, Madhya Pradesh, along with NCP’s Supriya Sule from Maharashtra’s Baramati. AIDUF’s Badruddin Ajmal contested from Assam’s Dhubri.

The next phase of the election is scheduled for May 13, with the counting of votes set for June 4 following the conclusion of the final phase on June 1.

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