LIVE: 5th phase of Lok Sabha polls underway, Rajnath Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Smriti Irani in fray

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Nearly nine crore voters are casting their votes for 51 Lok Sabha seats in the 5th phase of the polls across seven states. The key individuals in contention are Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Union Minister Smriti Irani.

Lok Sabha
File photo

 

Today’s polls will include 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 12 in Rajasthan, seven seats each in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, five in Bihar and four in Jharkhand. Also going to polls today are Ladakh constituency and Pulwama and Shopian districts of the Anantnag seat.

With today’s polls, polling would have been for concluded for 424 out of 543 seats. The remaining two phases of elections for 118 seats will take place on 12 and 19 May. The counting is scheduled for 23 May.

In 2014, the BJP had won 40 out of these 51 seats. Two had gone to the Congress while the rest had gone to opposition parties including seven to the Trinamool Congress.

In Uttar Pradesh, the BSP-SP combine have decided not to field any candidates against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in Rae Bareli and Amethi respectively. In Lucknow,the  sitting MP Rajnath Singh is pitted against Shatrughan Sinha’s wife Poonam Sinha of the SP.

In Rajasthan, Union Minister Rajyawardhan Rathore of the BJP and Krishna Poonia of the Congress are locking horns for the Jaipur Rural seat. Both are former Olympians.

Bihar’s five seats also include Hajipur and Saran, considered to be the bastions of the Lok Janshakti Party of Ram Vilas Paswan and the RJD of Lalu Prasad Yadav respectively. The other three constituencies are Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi and Madhubani that will see very interesting battles.

Here are the live updates:

  • Voting percentage till 1 PM: Bihar- 24.49, Jammu and Kashmir- 6.54, Rajasthan- 33.82, Madhya Pradesh- 31.46, Uttar Pradesh- 26.53, West Bengal- 39.55 and Jharkhand- 37.24. Total- 31.29% (ANI)
  • Union Minister Smriti Irani alleges booth capturing by Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, complains to Election Commission
  • 2,000 voters in Muzaffarpur’s Dumri boycott this year’s Lok Sabha polls in support of their demands for a bridge connecting their village.
  • Reports of EVM malfunctioning coming from West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan
  • Rajnath Singh, Mayawati, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore cast their votes in Lucknow and Jaipur respectively

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