New Delhi: People in 12 states and union territories will vote on Thursday to elect 140 MPs in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections being contested by big names including Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, George Fernandes, Ramvilas Paswan and Sushma Swaraj with their campaigning focussed mostly on the theme who is fit to lead the country.
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The first round of polling on 16 April was marked by violence in naxal-infested states, where 19 people were killed.
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Rahul Gandhi is seeking re-election from the Gandhi family pocket-borough of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, Pawar from the newly created seat of Madha in Maharashtra, Swaraj from Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh and Paswan from Hajipur in Bihar. Fernandes is contesting as an independent from Muzaffarpur after being shut out of his party.
Union commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath is contesting from Chhindwara constituency in Madhya Pradesh, while other prominent names include Akhilesh Prasad Singh (Purvi Champaran, Bihar), Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (Vaishali, Bihar) and Raghunath Jha (Valmikinagar, Bihar).
Graphics by Ahmed Raza Khan / Mint