NEW DELHI: The seven-phased 2019 Lok Sabha election, one of the most bitterly fought in the recent memory, will come to a close on Sunday, May 19 when polling will be held in 59 constituencies across seven states and one Union Territory, which will decide the fate of political big-wigs including Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is seeking a re-election from Varanasi.
Polling will be held in all 13 seats in Punjab and an equal number of seats in Uttar Pradesh, nine in West Bengal, eight seats each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, four in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and the lone seat in Chandigarh (UT).
Over 10.01 crore voters are expected to decide the fate of 918 candidates. The Election Commission has set up more than 1.12 lakh polling stations for smooth conduct of polls.
On Sunday, a bypoll will be held in Panaji, necessitated due to the death of former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar in March. Bye-elections will also be held in four assembly constituencies of Tamil Nadu - Sulur, Aravakurichi, Ottapidaram (SC) and Thiruparankundram.
Counting of votes will be taken up on May 23. An average of 66.88 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the last six phases.
Voting for the remaining 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will take place on Sunday, May 17. The last and final phase of the election will see Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking re-election from Varanasi. The 13 seats going to poll on Sunday are Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Bansgaon (SC), Ghosi, Salempur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur and Robertsganj (SC).
In all, there are 167 candidates in the fray for 13 Lok Sabha seats, which will go to polls on May 19. The highest number of 26 candidates in the fray are from Varanasi - the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Modi. The least number of four candidates are fighting the polls from Bansgaon (SC) Lok Sabha seat. Over 2.32 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise in last phase of this election in Uttar Pradesh. As many as 25,874 polling booths have been set up in 13,979 polling centres in the final phase.
There are a total of 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state out of which the BJP had won 71 seats and its ally Apana dal (Sonelal) two seats in the 2014 polls, leaving two for the Congress and five for the Samajwadi Party. The BSP had won no seat in the last general elections.
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri are among the 278 candidates including 24 women whose fate will be decided in Punjab on Sunday.
Actor turned politician Sunny Deol, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, Aam Aadmi Party's Punjab unit chief Bhagwant Mann are among other prominent candidates in the fray here. On most of the 13 seats, the contest appears to be a direct fight between the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance.
A conglomeration of several political outfits, the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA) led by AAP rebel Sukhpal Singh Khaira, is also contesting on all 13 seats while SAD (Taksali), a breakaway faction of SAD, has fielded one candidate from Anandpur Sahib.
In 2014, the AAP and the SAD had won four seats each, the Congress three and the BJP two.
An electorate of 1,49,63,064 will decide the fate of 111 candidates in nine seats of West Bengal - Kolkata North and Kolkata South, Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jadavpur, Diamond Harbour, Jayanagar (SC) and Mathurapur (SC).
Eight seats, barring Jadavpur, will witness a contest between the Trinamool Congress, the BJP, the Congress and the Left Front. The Congress has given the Jadavpur seat a miss.
The nine constituencies are spread across the three districts of Kolkata, South and North 24 Parganas. The high-voltage campaign for the final phase saw poll meetings by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Congress leader Sachin Pilot and West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee.
Shah's roadshow in the city on Tuesday was marred by violence and destruction of social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's bust in a college in north Kolkata. In a first such action in India's electoral history, the Election Commission ordered campaigning in the nine West Bengal constituencies to end at 10 PM on Thursday, instead of 6 PM on Friday, in the wake of the violence between the BJP and the TMC during Shah's roadshow.
As many as four Union Ministers - Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ram Kripal Yadav, RK Singh and Ashwini Kumar Choubey - are among the 157 candidates in Bihar.
Seven of these seats were won by the NDA last time, five by the BJP and two by the RLSP, which is now with the "Mahagathbandhan". One was bagged by the JD(U) headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, which then fought separately but is now back with the NDA.
By-poll will also be held for the Dehri Assembly seat. The most keenly-watched contest is in Patna Sahib where Prasad, one of the most prominent members of the Narendra Modi cabinet, is seeking entry into the Lok Sabha. He is pitted against Shatrughan Sinha - the actor-turned-politician, who won it on both occasions for the BJP and is now in the fray as the Congress candidate.
Rajmahal, Dumka and Godda Lok Sabha constituencies in Jharkhand will go to polls in seventh and last phase of national election 2019 on May 19. Rajmahal and Dumka are Scheduled Tribe (ST) seats, whereas Godda is a General seat.
A total of 4,315 polling booths have been set up to for the election.
The electoral fortunes of as many as 42 candidates including that of the former chief minister and Union minister Shibu Soren will be decided on Sunday here.
Soren, the chief of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and an eighth term sitting MP, is in the fray from Dumka seat once again. He is crossing swords with BJP's Sunil Soren. The JMM leader had defeated his BJP challenger twice in 2009 and 2014.
Dewas, Ujjain, Mandsaur, Ratlam, Dhar, Indore, Khargone and Khandwa seats in Madhya Pradesh, all currently held by the BJP, will go to polls in Madhya Pradesh.
Former Union ministers Kantilal Bhuria, Arun Yadav are in the fray from Ratlam and Khandwa. In Khandwa, voters are likely to see a tough fight between Yadav and ex-MP BJP chief Nandkumar Singh Chauhan.
Meenakshi Natarajan, a close aide of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, is trying her luck again from Mandsaur, after being defeated in 2014.
Eighty-two candidates are in the fray in the eight seats, comprising six in Dewas, nine in Ujjain, 13 in Mandsaur, nine in Ratlam, seven in Dhar, 20 in Indore, seven in Khargone and 11 in Khandwa.
Out of the total 29 seats in MP, the election in the first phase was held in six constituencies on April 29, followed by the second phase polls for seven constituencies on May 6 and eight seats in the third phase on May 23.
Voting for all four Lok Sabha constituencies in Himachal Pradesh is scheduled to take place in the last and seventh phase on Sunday. A total of 45 candidates are in fray from these four Lok Sabha seats and their fate will be decided by over 53 lakh registered electors in the state. The Election Commission of India has set up 7723 polling station across the state for smooth conduct of polls.
Polling will be held in all four Parliamentary Constituencies (PC) of Kangra, Mandi, Hamirpur, and Shimla. As per the data available, there are 5,330,154 voters, out of which 2,724,111 are males, 2,605,996 females and 47 third gender voters.
Kangra, Mandi, Hamirpur parliamentary constituencies are General Seats whereas Shimla PC is reserved for SC. As per Form 7A available on EC website, 11 candidates are contesting from Kangra, 17 from Mandi, 11 from Hamirpur and 6 from Shimla.
All eyes will be on Mandi from where former Union Minister Sukh Ram's grandson Aashray Sharma is contesting on a Congress ticket. Aashray is pitted against BJP's Ram Swaroop Sharma who is seen by many as a close confidante of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
The Union Territory of Chandigarh has only one Lok Sabha constituency, Chandigarh, which will go to poll in the seventh phase of Lok Sabha election 2019 on Sunday, May 19. The polling will take place from 7 AM till 6 PM. Chandigarh parliamentary constituency is a general category constituency. A total of 36 candidates are contesting from the seat, out of which nine are women. A total of 597 polling stations have been set up in the Union Territory.
More than 6 lakh voters in the Union Territory of Chandigarh will choose between sitting MP and BJP candidate Kirron Kher and former railway minister and Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal. Kher was elected as the Member of Parliament from this constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. She bagged 191362 votes and defeated Bansal who got 121720 votes in the 2014 polls. Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Gul Kirat Panag, who got 108,679 votes, came third.