India’s General Election Phase Three
The third phase of voting for India’s general election has started in 91 constituencies, representing nearly a fifth of the 543-seat lower house, across the capital, two other union territories and 11 states.
In the capital city, Delhi people started gathering at polling stations early in the morning to cast their vote. Though Delhi has only seven Lok Sabha seats, the electoral outcome in the heart of the country carries a lot of significance due to its importance as the Capital city of the country.
Delhi, the largest Indian city and the second most populous city in the world, has an estimated 12.7 million voters (1.27 crore) to decide the fate of 150 candidates in several political parties.
In order to make the elections safe and fearless, nearly 50,000 security personnel, apart from 161 flying squads of police and video surveillance teams, have been deployed as part of elaborate preparations to ensure fair and peaceful polls in Delhi.
In the prestigious Chandni Chowk constituency, Union minister Kapil Sibal is facing a tough fight from BJP’s Harsh Vardhan and journalist-turned-politician Ashutosh of the AAP in his bid to retain the seat for the third time.
In East Delhi, incumbent MP Sandeep Dikshit is pitted against BJP’s Maheish Girri and AAP’s Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
A tough triangular contest is in the offing in the high-profile New Delhi constituency where Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken is facing two first-time contenders in BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi and Ashish Khaitan from the AAP.
An interesting battle is on the cards among BJP’s Udit Raj, AAP’s Rakhi Birla and Congress’ Krishna Tirath in North West Delhi. The Dalit community, which comprises over 20 per cent of the total voters, may hold sway in the seat.
In South Delhi, BJP candidate Ramesh Bidhuri was pitted against Devender Sehrawat of the AAP and Congress’ Ramesh Kumar.
The BJP has fielded Bhojpuri singer Manoj Tiwari in the North East Delhi seat where AAP’s Anand Kumar and Congress’ J P Agarwal are the other prominent contenders.
In the story Elections In India: The Way It Goes, it was reported that in these elections for the 16th Lok Sabha, around 814.5 million voters would cast their ballot. There are 543 parliamentary constituencies, and voting is to take place in nine phases.
The nine phases make this the longest and most drawn-out election for reasons of logistics and safety, in India’s history, running from 7 April to 12 May 2014.