Lok Sabha polls, phase 4: Key contests, high-stakes showdowns in 10 states

A total of 1,717 candidates in 96 seats across 10 states and Union territories are trying their luck in this phase

Voters wait in queue in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections, in Khagaria on 7 May (photo: PTI)
Voters wait in queue in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections, in Khagaria on 7 May (photo: PTI)

Ashlin Mathew

The fate of 284 of India's 543 Lok Sabha constituencies have already been decided in three phases of polling on 19 and 26 April and 7 May. By the end of tomorrow, 13 May, polling will have been completed in another 96 seats across 10 states and Union territories, where 1,717 candidates are trying their luck. Over 19 lakh polling officials will serve over 17.7 crore voters across 1.92 lakh polling stations.

Of these 96 seats, the BJP won 41 in the 2019 general elections. Campaigning for the fourth phase ended on Saturday. The states up for polling tomorrow are Andhra Pradesh (25 seats), Bihar (5), Jammu and Kashmir (1), Jharkhand (4), Madhya Pradesh (8), Maharashtra (11), Odisha (4), Telangana (17), Uttar Pradesh (13), and West Bengal (8). The Assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh will be held simultaneously.

In Madhya Pradesh, the last eight of the state's 29 Lok Sabha constituencies — spread over 15 districts in the Malwa-Nimar region — are going to the polls tomorrow. All 25 constituencies in Andhra Pradesh and 17 in Telangana will complete polling in a single phase. By the end of phase four, polling in 23 states and UTs would have been completed, with Jharkhand and Odisha being the two new additions to the list after three phases.

Those phases saw voter turnouts of 66.1, 66.7, and 65.68 per cent, respectively, as per Election Commission of India (ECI) data.

As election season enters its ninth week since the model code of conduct (MCC) came into force, the country’s ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have increasingly doubled down on communal speeches and divisive politics.

The main Opposition party, the Indian National Congress, has continued to focus on its five main guarantees and saving the Constitution, and its former president Sonia Gandhi has slammed the PM for attempting to “win at any cost”.

The fourth phase will see a veteran actor, a cricketer, leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, and heads of two parties contesting across states.

For this phase, Telangana had a maximum of 1,488 nominations from 17 Parliamentary constituencies, followed by Andhra Pradesh with 1,103 from 25 PCs. Malkajgiri Parliamentary constituency in Telangana received a maximum of 177 nominations, followed by Nalgonda and Bhongir in the same state, with 114 each.

Key candidates in the fray

Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav has thrown his hat in the ring to contest from Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh — a seat nurtured by his late father Mulayam Singh Yadav. Four-time MP Akhilesh is currently an MLA from Karhal Assembly segment, which he won in 2022. He is up against the BJP’s Subrat Pathak this time.

In UP’s Unnao, BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj is up against the SP’s Annu Tandon who had won the seat in 2009, but unsuccessfully contested against Maharaj when she was the Congress candidate in 2014 and 2019.

In Lakhimpur-Kheri, Union minister of state for home Ajay Mishra 'Teni' is seeking re-election against the SP’s Utkarsh Verma, while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded Anshay Kalra. Teni’s son Ashish Mishra alias Monu allegedly ran his car over a journalist and farmers protesting the now repealed farm laws in 2021, resulting in five deaths, with the ensuing mob violence killing one more. Ashish is currently out on bail.

In Bihar, Janata Dal (United) heavyweight Rajiv Ranan alias Lalan Singh is up against the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Kumari Anita in Munger. Anita is the wife of Ashok Mahto, the notorious gangster who escaped from Nawada jail in 2002, going on to murder sitting MP Rajo Singh in 2005, for which he served 17 years in prison and was released in December 2023.

Union minister Giriraj Singh will contest from Bihar’s Begusarai against Awadhesh Kumar Rai, a former three-time CPI (Communist Party of India) MLA from Bachhwara Assembly segment. Though long known as the ‘Leningrad of Bihar’ because of CPI dominance in the region, Beguserai has also been a stronghold of the upper caste Bhumihar community.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury will fight Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate and ex-national cricketer Yusuf Pathan in West Bengal’s Baharampur, known to be Chowdhury's fiefdom, with the BJP’s Nirmal Kumar making up the third corner.

Fiery TMC leader Mahua Moitra will be contesting from Bengal’s Krishnanagar against the BJP’s Amrita Roy, who is being called the 'Rajmata' of Krishnanagar thanks to her ties to the region's erstwhile royal family, and joined the party just a week before her nomination. Moitra, on the other hand, was expelled from the Lok Sabha in December 2023 on cash-for-query corruption charges. The CPI(M) has fielded S.M. Sadi for the seat.

TMC candidate and actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha will seek re-election from West Bengal’s Asansol, contesting against former Union minister S.S. Ahluwalia of the BJP. In the 2019 general election, Babul Supriyo, who was then with the BJP, won the seat by more than 1 lakh votes, but jumped ship and joined the TMC in 2021. Sinha was fielded in the subsequent by-election and won by a margin of 3 lakh votes.

Also in Bengal, former cricketer Kirti Azad of TMC will take on former West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh in Durgapur. The son of former Bihar chief minister Bhagwat Jha Azad, Kirti was a BJP MP from Bihar’s Darbhanga in 2014, then joined the Congress before shifting to TMC.

In Telangana, dancer-turned-politician Madhavi Latha of the BJP will take on AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi in his home turf Hyderabad. In Secunderabad, the BJP’s sitting MP G. Kishan Reddy is aiming for this third consecutive victory against the Congress’ Danam Nagender and the Bharath Rashtra Samithi’s T. Padma Rao Goud.

Former Telangana BJP state chief and sitting MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar is contesting again in Karimnagar, against B. Vinod Kumar of the BRS and Velichala Rajender Rao of the Congress. This has been a traditional Congress seat, but both BJP and BRS have made inroads. In 2019, the BJP won this seat defeating the BRS candidate by over 90,000 votes.

In Andhra Pradesh, YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) president and CM Jagan Mohan Reddy (Pulivendula), TDP supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu (Kuppam) and Janasena chief and actor Pawan Kalyan (Pithapuram) are in the Assembly poll race. While Jagan's sister and state Congress chief Y.S. Sharmila is in the fray for Kadapa Lok Sabha seat against her cousin and sitting YSRCP MP Y.S. Avinash Reddy.

In Rajahmundry, former Congress president G. Rudra Raju will take on state BJP chief D. Purandeswari and YSRCP’s Margani Bharat, who is the sitting MP.

From Ongole, NDA ally TDP has fielded Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, whose name surfaced in the Delhi excise policy case in which Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was arrested. His son has turned approver in the case. Magunta was earlier with YSRCP, and quit the party to join TDP in March 2024.

In Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar, National Conference has fielded Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, People’s Democratic Party’s candidate is Waheed Parra and J&K Apni Party’s Mohammad Ashraf Mir is in the fray as the National Democratic Alliance candidate.

In Madhya Pradesh’s Indore, Congress candidate Akshay Kanti Bam withdrew from the race and later joined the BJP. As Congress could not field another candidate, the party has been asking voters to opt for NOTA (none of the above) in protest. In addition to the BJP’s candidate and sitting MP Shankar Lalwani, there are 13 other candidates in fray.

Seats going to election

Andhra Pradesh: All 25 Lok Sabha seats and 175 Assembly seats will go to vote in a single phase

Araku, Srikakulam (TDP),Vizianagaram (YSRCP),Visakhapatnam (YSRCP), Anakapalle (YSRCP), Kakinada (YSRCP), Amalapuram (YSRCP), Rajahmundry (YSRCP), Narsapuram (YSRCP), Eluru (YSRCP), Machilipatnam (JSP), Vijaywada (TDP), Guntur (TDP), Narasaraopet (YSRCP), Bapatla (YSRCP), Ongole (YSRCP), Nandyal (YSRCP), Kurnool (YSRCP), Anantapur (YSRCP), Hindupur (YSRCP), Kadapa (YSRCP), Nellore (YSRCP), Tirupati (YSRCP), Rajamet (YSRCP), Chittoor (YSRCP).

Bihar: 5 constituencies of 40

Darbhanga (BJP), Ujiarpur (BJP), Samastipur (LJP), Begusarai (BJP), Munger (JDU)

Jammu and Kashmir: 1

Srinagar (J&K NC)

Jharkhand: 4 constituencies of 14 seats

Singhbhum (Congress), Khunti (BJP), Lohardaga (BJP), Palamau (BJP)

Madhya Pradesh: 8 constituencies and with this all the constituencies in the state would have completed voting

Dewas (BJP), Ujjain (BJP), Mandsour (BJP), Ratlam (BJP), Dhar (BJP), Indore (BJP), Khargone (BJP), Khandwa (BJP)

Maharashtra: 11 constituencies out of 48 seats

Nandurbar (BJP), Jalgaon (BJP), Raver (BJP), Jalna (BJP), Aurangabad (AIMIM), Maval (Shiv Sena), Pune (BJP), Shirur (NCP), Ahmednagar (BJP), Shirdi (Shiv Sena), Beed (BJP)

Odisha: 4 constituencies out of 21 constituencies; 28 Assembly constituencies out of 147 seats will also go to the polls simultaneously.

Kalahandi (BJP), Nabarangpur (BJD), Berhampur (BJD), Koraput (Congress)

Telangana: All 17 constituencies will go to elections in a single phase

Adilabad (BJP), Peddapalli (BRS), Karimnagar (BJP), Nizamabad (BJP), Zahirabad (BRS), Medak (BRS), Malkajgiri (Congress), Secunderabad (BJP), Hyderabad (AIMIM), Chevella (Congress), Mahbubnagar (BRS), Nalgonda (Congress), Nagarkurnool (BRS), Bhongir (Congress), Warangal (Congress), Mahbubabad (BRS), Khammam (BRS)

Uttar Pradesh: 13 constituencies out of 80 seats

Shahjahanpur (BJP), Kheri (BJP), Dharuhara (BJP), Sitapur (BJP), Hardoi (BJP), Misrikh (BJP), Unnao (BJP), Farrukhabad (BJP), Etawah (BJP), Kannauj (BJP), Kanpur (BJP), Akbarpur (BJP), Bahraich (BJP)

West Bengal: 8 constituencies out of 42 seats

Baharampur (Congress), Krishnanagar (TMC), Ranaghat (BJP), Bardhaman Purba (TMC), Bardhaman-Durgapur (BJP), Asansol (TMC), Bolpur (TMC), Birbhum (TMC)

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Published: 12 May 2024, 4:11 PM