In the fifth phase of the national election, Congress President Rahul Gandhi will face BJP’s Smriti Irani in Amethi. Despite her defeat from the seat in 2014, Irani has frequently visited the area.
The fifth phase of Lok Sabha Elections began Monday morning in 51 seats spread across seven states. As many as 7 crore voters will decide the fate of 674 candidates in the on-going general election. Several high-profile candidates from the BJP and opposition parties are in the fray today.
The initial hours of the on-going polling witnessed violence from West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir. Arjun Singh, a BJP candidate in Bengal’s Barrackpore, alleged that he was attacked by Trinamool Congress workers. Besides, militants in Pulwama tried to disrupt the polling process by throwing a grenade at a polling booth. However, no casualty was reported in the attack. The district is voting today in the third phase of polling for Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag constituency.
The SP-BSP-RLD “grand alliance” in Uttar Pradesh excluded the Congress from the coalition. However, they did not field any candidate from Amethi and Raebareli to prevent fragmentation of non-BJP votes.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is seeking a fourth term from Raebareli. She has kept hold of the seat after vacating Amethi for Rahul Gandhi in 2004. Besides, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is seeking re-election from Lucknow.
The five seats going to polls in Bihar are Hajipur, Saran, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, and Madhubani. Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party has continued to have a stronghold in Hajipur. Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal has ruled the Saran district.
Jharkhand’s four Maoist-hit seats – Hazaribagh, Koderma, Ranchi and Khunti – will end polling at 4 pm due to security concerns. Additionally, the Mahoba constituency of Uttar Pradesh will conduct re-polling today on the Election Commission’s order. The announcement came on Saturday after an electronic voting machine went missing for about 15 hours. The incident took place after the fourth phase of voting in General Elections.