New Delhi: The fate of several key leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union minister Smriti Irani, will be decided on Monday in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls, which will witness voting in 51 constituencies spread across seven states.
Fourteen seats in Uttar Pradesh, 12 in Rajasthan, seven each in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, five in Bihar and four in Jharkhand will go to polls, in addition to Ladakh and Anantnag constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir.
This is an important phase for BJP in Uttar Pradesh since it had won 12 of the 14 seats in the 2014 general elections. The party is now facing the combined force of the SP, BSP and RLD, which had contested separately last time.
According to the Election Commission of India, over 8.75 crore voters are eligible to cast their ballot to decide the fate of 674 candidates. As many as 96,000 polling stations have been set up and security arrangements made for the smooth conduct of the elections.
In Amethi, Rahul Gandhi is pitted against BJP nominee Irani who was defeated by the Congress leader in 2014. elections. Sonia Gandhi, who is seeking re-election from the Raebareli seat, is contesting against BJP's Dinesh Pratap Singh among other candidates.
BJP's Rajanth Singh, SP-BSP's Poonam Sinha and Congress' Pramod Krishnam are in the fray from Lucknow.
Union ministers Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Arjun Ram Meghwal and Jayant Sinha, all from BJP, are contesting from Jaipur Rural and Bikaner in Rajasthan and Hazaribagh in Jharkhand, respectively.
Also in the fray are Congress leader Jitin Prasad from Dhaurahra in Uttar Pradesh and BJP's Rajiv Pratap Rudi from Saran in Bihar.
In Jharkhand, two former chief ministers Babulal Marandi, the leader of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), and Arjun Munda of the BJP are contesting from the Koderma and Khunti seats, respectively.
Union minister Virendra Kumar is locked in a three-cornered contest in Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh. He is pitted against Kiran Ahirwar of Congress and RD Prajapati of SP.
Former railway minister and TMC candidate Dinesh Trivedi is fighting against Arjun Singh of the BJP and Gargi Chatterjee of CPM from Barrackpore in West Bengal. Arjun Singh, a four-time TMC MLA, had switched to BJP after Trivedi's nomination from the seat.
Campaigning for the fifth phase of the elections ended on Saturday evening.
The first four phases of the polls were held on 11, 18, 23 and 29 April. After the fifth phase tomorrow, the sixth and seventh phases will take place on 12 and 19 May, respectively. The votes will be counted on 23 May.
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Updated Date: May 05, 2019 14:15:35 IST