As the fourth phase of the general elections began on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to come out and vote in large numbers. “Another phase of the General Elections begins today. I hope those voting today do so in large numbers and break the voting records of the previous three phases. A special appeal to young voters to head to the polling booth and exercise their franchise,” PM Modi tweeted.
Polling begin earlier today in 71 parliamentary constituencies across nine states. The stakes are high for the ruling BJP and its allies as they had taken 56 of these seats in 2014, leaving only two for the Congress. The remaining 14 had gone to other Opposition parties such as the Trinamool Congress (6) and the Biju Janata Dal (6).
In the fourth phase, key contestants include Union ministers Giriraj Singh, Subhash Bhamre, S S Ahluwalia and Babul Supriyo of the BJP and former Union ministers Salman Khurshid and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the Congress.
Among others to watch out for are Kanhaiya Kumar (CPI), Baijayant Panda (BJP), Urmila Matondkar (Congress), Dimple Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Satabdi Roy (TMC) and Milind Deora (Congress).
The number of seats going to polls are 17 in Maharashtra, 13 each in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, eight in West Bengal, six each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, five in Bihar, three in Jharkhand and a part of the Anantnag constituency in J&K.
As many as 302 seats have already gone to polls in the first three phases and another 168 will go to polls in the last three phases.