Lok Sabha polls, phase 3: Where the action is across 11 states and UTs

As 1,331 candidates contest from 93 constituencies, what will the turnout look like in the searing heat of 7 May?

Voters in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Rajasthan on 19 April
Voters in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Rajasthan on 19 April

Ashlin Mathew

In this unrelenting scorcher of a summer, voting will take place across 93 constituencies in 11 states and union territories on 7 May—the third phase of the general elections.

The fortunes of 1,331 candidates will be decided in this phase and BJP is defending 71 of these seats.  

It was scheduled to be held across 94 seats, but in Gujarat’s Surat, the candidate won unopposed.

The Election Commission has also postponed the polling in the Anantnag–Rajouri Lok Sabha seat from 7 May to 25 May in the sixth phase of the ongoing elections.

In Madhya Pradesh’s Betul constituency, elections had been scheduled for Phase 2; however, polling for this seat was moved to Phase 3 after the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate. 

Among those contesting in this third phase are the country’s home minister, several former chief ministers, a scion of a former princely state, a perfume baron and the daughter of a senior leader.  

In the third phase, the states that will go to polls are:

  • Assam (4 seats)

  • Bihar (5)

  • Chhattisgarh (7)

  • Goa (2)

  • Gujarat (25, minus the foregone conclusion that is Surat)

  • Karnataka (14)

  • Madhya Pradesh (9)

  • Maharashtra (11)

  • Uttar Pradesh (10)

  • West Bengal (4)

  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (2)

In Gujarat, voters in only 25 seats will get to cast their ballot now, as in Surat, the BJP's Mukesh Dalal was elected unopposed after Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani's nomination was rejected and the other eight candidates withdrew from the fray.  

In phase 3, Gujarat had the maximum of nomination forms (658) from its 26 parliamentary constituencies, followed by Maharashtra with 519 nominations from 11 seats.

Seatwise, the Osmanabad parliamentary constituency in Maharashtra received the maximum nomination forms (77), per the ECI, followed by Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh (68).

Key candidates in the fray

Minister of home affairs Amit Shah is seeking re-election from Gujarat’s Gandhinagar.

Union minister and former Gujarat minister Parshottam Rupala will contest from Rajkot, where his comments have riled up the Rajputs. He will contest against Paresh Dhanani of the Congress.

A closely watched seat is Baramati, where NCP (SP) leader Supriya Sule, daughter of Nationalist Congress Party veteran Sharad Pawar, is fighting against her sister-in-law Sunetra Pawar, wife of Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.

Dimple Yadav, wife of Akhilesh Yadav and a Samajwadi Party leader in her own right, is contesting from the family bastion of Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh. She began representing the seat following the death of former party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in 2022. She faces BJP minister Jaiveer Singh and BSP's Shiv Prasad Yadav.

Former Congressman and now BJP leader and grandson of the last ruler of the princely state of Gwalior, Jyotiraditya Scindia is contesting from Madhya Pradesh’s Guna. The union minister of civil aviation and steel is in a straight contest against Congress leader Rao Yadvendra Singh. Scindia lost the family bastion in 2019 when he was with the Congress and is now looking to reclaim it.

Former MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is contesting from Vidisha against senior Congress leader Bhanu Pratap Sharma, 77, who represented the seat through 1980–84. Chouhan held this constituency from 1991 to 2005.

Another former chief minister in the fray in MP is veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who is contesting from his home turf of Rajgarh. The scion of the erstwhile royal family of Raghogarh, Singh is up against the BJP’s two-term MP Rodmal Nagar, whose 2019 victory margin was 4.31 lakh.

The owner of the perfume brand Ajmal and president of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Badruddin Ajmal is contesting from Assam’s Dhubri. He is one of the wealthiest candidates in the state. He will take on Congress' Rakibul Hussain, the deputy leader of the opposition in the Assam assembly, as well as NDA ally Asom Gana Parishad’s (AGP) Zabed Islam. The Dhubri seat has been an AIUDF bastion since 2009.

Union minister Pralhad Joshi is seeking his fifth consecutive term from Karnataka’s Dharwad. He is facing a tough competition against the Congress' Vinod Asooti.

The BJP candidate from South Goa, industrialist Pallavi Shrinivas Dempo, is the wealthiest contestant in Phase 3 overall, with a declared wealth of Rs 1,361 crore. She takes on Congress leader Capt. Viriato Fernandes.

Shrinivas Dempo's husband is the chairman of the Dempo Group of Companies. He had purchased electoral bonds worth Rs 1.25 crore in January 2022, just ahead of the Goa Assembly elections.

Here, the 78-year-old Congress leader Francisco Sardinha is the incumbent MP and the seat is considered a Congress bastion as the grand old party has won the seat 10 times.

Seats going to the polls (and who currently represents them)

  • Assam (4): Dhubri (AIUDF), Kokrajhar (Ind), Barpeta (Congress), Gauhati (BJP)

  • Bihar (5): Jhanjharpur (JDU), Supaul (JDU), Araria (BJP), Madhepura (JDU), Khagaria (LJP)

  • Chhattisgarh (7): Sarguja (BJP), Raigarh (BJP), Janjgir–Champa (BJP), Korba (Congress), Bilaspur (BJP), Durg (BJP), Raipur (BJP)

  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (2): They were clubbed into a single union territory in 2019, prior to which the lone Daman and Diu Lok Sabha seat was held by the BJP, while currently Dadra and Nagar Haveli is represented by the Shiv Sena.

  • Goa (2): North Goa (BJP), South Goa (Congress)

  • Gujarat (26): Kachchh, Banaskantha, Patan, Mahesana, Sabarkantha, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad East, Ahmedabad West, Surendranagar, Rajkot, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Anand, Kheda, Panchmahal, Dahod, Vadodara, Chhota Udaipur, Bharuch, Bardoli, Navsari, Valsad—all were won by the BJP in 2019, including Surat, where there will be no voting this time

  • Karnataka (14): Chikkodi, Belgaum, Bagalkot, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Raichur, Bidar, Koppal, Bellary, Haveri, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada, Davangere, Shimoga—all had been won by the BJP in 2019

  • Madhya Pradesh (9): Morena, Bhind, Gwalior, Guna, Sagar, Vidisha, Bhopal, Rajgarh, Betul—all of which had been won by the BJP in 2019

  • Maharashtra (11): Baramati (NCP), Raigad (NCP), Dharashiv/ Osmanabad (Shiv Sena), Latur (BJP), Solapur (BJP), Madha (BJP), Sangli (BJP), Satara (NCP), Ratnagiri–Sindhudurg (Shiv Sena), Kolhapur (Shiv Sena), Hatkanangle (Shiv Sena)

  • Uttar Pradesh (10): Sambhal (SP), Hathras (BJP), Agra (BJP), Fatehpur Sikri (BJP), Firozabad (BJP), Mainpuri (SP), Etah (BJP), Badaun (BJP), Aonla (BJP), Bareilly (BJP)

  • West Bengal (4): Maldaha Uttar (BJP), Maldaha Dakshin (Congress), Jangipur (TMC), Murshidabad (TMC)

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