Breaking News : Grenade Attack On Poll Booth In Kashmir, Violence In...

Breaking News : Grenade Attack On Poll Booth In Kashmir, Violence In Bengal


Grenade Attack On Poll Booth In Kashmir, Violence In Bengal

General elections 2019: With only 51 seats across seven states where voting is being held, this is the leanest phase of the election.

Voting for the fifth round of the national election began with reports of violence from West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP candidate in Bengal’s Barrackpore alleged that he was attacked by Trinamool Congress workers this morning. A grenade was thrown at a polling booth in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama. No one was injured in the attack.

A number of high-profile candidates, including Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, his mother Sonia Gandhi, Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Rajyavardhan Rathore are up for election in the fifth of the seven phases of the Lok Sabha election today. With only 51 seats across seven states where voting is being held, this is the leanest phase of the election.

But it will be crucial for the BJP, which won 40 of the seats in 2014 and is under pressure to do better. With this round, election will be over in 424 seats, polling in the remaining 118 seats will be held on May 12 and 19. Counting of votes will be held on May 23.

Here is your 10-point cheat sheet to Phase 5 of 2019 Lok Sabha Polls:

Voting began in 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 12 in Rajasthan, seven seats each in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, five in Bihar and four in Jharkhand. In Jammu and Kashmir, polling is taking place in Ladakh constituency, Pulwama and Shopian districts of Anantnag seat.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is seeking re-election for a fourth consecutive term from family turf Amethi. Challenging him is the BJP’s Smriti Irani, who, despite her defeat from the seat in 2014, has frequently visited the area.

Ms Irani claimed that the prospect of defeat from Amethi has pushed Mr Gandhi to contest from Kerala’s Wayanad.
Rahul Gandhi’s mother, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, is seeking a fourth term from neighbouring Raebareli.

She has been holding the seat after vacating Amethi for Rahul Gandhi in 2004. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is seeking re-election from Lucknow.

Arjun Singh, the BJP candidate from West Bengal’s Barrackpore, alleged that he was punched by workers of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress. “I was attacked by TMC goons while I was trying to talk with voters. It was a planned attack and I will report the matter to the Election Commission. The TMC’s hooligans are running unchecked in the state. My bleeding mouth is a proof of it,” he said.

The BJP had bagged 12 of the 14 seats going to polls in Uttar Pradesh. Amethi and Raebareli were also the only two seats the Congress won in the state in 2014. This time, the Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav alliance had not fielded any candidate there as a gesture of courtesy, even though they kept the Congress out of the alliance. On Sunday, Mayawati endorsed the Congress, saying every vote for the mahagathbandhan should go to the party.

Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party is contesting in five seats – Dhaurahra, Sitapur, Mohanlalganj, Fatehpur and Kaisarganj. Its ally Samajwadi Party is contesting in seven seats – Lucknow, Banda, Kaushambi, Barabanki, Faizabad, Bahraich and Gonda. Voting will be held in the politically crucial seat of Faizabad, which encompasses Ayodhya, in this round.

Pulwama, the Ground Zero of the February 14 suicide attack in which 40 soldiers died, is voting today in the third phase of polling for Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag constituency.

No one was injured in a grenade attack at a polling booth in Pulwama. Pulwama remains tense and wary. The district has hardly seen any election campaigning by political parties and officers of the local police say polling may not cross the double-digit mark.

Two former Olympians – Union minister Rajyavardhan Rathore of the BJP and Krishna Poonia of the Congress – one former IAS and one former IPS officer, and two seers are among the candidates for Rajasthan’s 12 Lok Sabha seats. This is the last phase of polling in the desert state, which the Congress wrested from the BJP in last year’s assembly election.

Of the five seats going to polls in Bihar are Hajipur and Saran – the first a stronghold of Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party and the other of Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal. The other three constituencies are Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi and Madhubani. Polling started late in Hajipur after electronic voting machines developed problems.

In the four Maoist-hit seats of Jharkhand — Hazaribagh, Koderma, Ranchi and Khunti — polling will end at 4 pm due to security concerns. Union Minister Jayant Sinha is seeking re-election from Hazaribag and former chief minister and BJP candidate Arjun Munda is contesting from the Khunti constituency.