New Delhi: Thirteen states and two union territories vote in Phase 3 of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday. When polling ends in this phase—the biggest of the seven phases—the electoral process in 302 of the 543 seats will have been completed. Mint gives the low-down on Elections 2019's Phase 3.
Which are the big states going to the polls in Phase 3?
Polling are going on in all 26 seats in Gujarat and 20 seats in Kerala. Elections are taking place in 14 seats each in Karnataka and Maharashtra. Polls in south India will be over in the third phase. They will be completed in Maharashtra in the next phase. Elections to the remaining four of the 14 seats in Assam and the second one in Tripura will end the exercise in the North-East. Ten constituencies in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh will vote in the third phase. Voting in seven seats of Chhattisgarh will end the exercise in the state that has 11 seats. Both of Goa’s seats will vote on Tuesday.
What has happened since Phase 2 on 18 April?
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is fielding Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, a key accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast that killed six and injured 100, from Bhopal. She has been granted bail and is up against Congress’ Digvijay Singh. That election is on 12 May. Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi quit the party to join the Shiv Sena. Ending their 24-year-old rivalry to take on BJP, Samajwadi Party (SP) founder Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati shared the stage at a public rally on 19 April in Mainpuri, the former’s pocket borough that goes to the polls on Tuesday.
What has been the voter turnout so far and when is the next phase?
The 11 April polls saw a voter turnout of 69.45%, while the 18 April exercise had a 69.43% draw. On 29 April, 72 seats will go to the polls in the fourth phase.
Who are the big names contesting in Phase 3?
The biggest is Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is contesting from Wayanad in Kerala. BJP’s best chance in the state is in Thiruvan-anthapuram, where it hopes party veteran Kummanam Rajasekharan will dislodge Congress’ Shashi Tharoor. Maneka Gandhi’s son Varun tests his luck in Pilibhit. BJP candidate Jaya Prada squares off against SP’s Azam Khan in Rampur. Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Sharad Yadav takes on Janata Dal (United)’s Dinesh Chandra Yadav in Madhepura. Pappu Yadav is also in the fray from the same seat.
What are the issues for voters in this phase?
Lack of jobs and farm distress may go against BJP, although Ujjwala, Swachh Bharat and Ayushman Bharat initiatives may help the ruling party win support from some voters. Illegal immigration is an issue in Assam. Voting along caste and communal lines continues to happen in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Locals affected by curbs on iron-ore mining in Karnataka’s Bellary, Bagalkot and Koppal have threatened to boycott polling. For the first time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not fighting from any seat in Gujarat.