India set to vote in third phase of 2024 LS polls; Amit Shah, Scindia, Adhir Ranjan, Dimple Yadav in fray

New Delhi, May 6 : India’s democratic journey continues as voters will head out on Tuesday to exercise their franchise in 93 constituencies, spread across 11 states and Union Territories spanning the beaches of Goa to the jungles of Assam, and a large swathe of UP to north Karnataka, and seal the electoral fate of several heavyweights.

The voting will start at 7 a.m. and go on till 5 p.m.

There are over 1,300 candidates, including 120 women, in the fray.

Notable contenders including Union Home Minister Amit Shah contesting from Gujrat’s Gandhinagar, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from the state’s Vidisha, Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna (Madhya Pradesh) (all BJP), Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury from West Bengal’s Baharampur, where his Trinamool Congress rival is former cricketer Yusuf Pathan, Congress heavyweight and former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh from Madhya Pradesh’s Rajgarh, Samajwadi Party’s Dimple Yadav from Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri and Aditya Yadav (Budaun), former BJP Karnataka Chief Ministers Jagadish Shettar (Belgaum), Basavaraj Bommai (Haveri), Congress’ Geeta Shivarajkumar (Shimoga), industrialist Pallavi Dempo, contesting from South Goa on a BJP ticket, NCP-SP’s Supriya Sule who faces her sister-in-law and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra Pawar in family borough Baramati, among others.

The Election Commission said that around 18.5 lakh polling officials have been deployed to welcome over 17.24 crore voters – 8.85 crore males and 8.39 crore females – across 1.85 lakh polling stations.

It said that there are over 14.04 lakh registered 85 plus years old, 39,599 voters above 100 years and 15.66 lakh PwD voters for phase 3, and they had been provided with the option to vote from the comfort of their homes.

The poll panel said that phase 3 will also witness the visit of a large number of foreign delegates to experience India’s polling process and management, with 75 delegates from 23 countries visiting polling stations in six states, as part of the International Election Visitor Programme.

While 94 seats were slated to go to polls in the third phase, polling in J&K’s Anantnag-Rajouri seat was rescheduled for the sixth phase, while polling was called off in Gujarat’s Surat PC, as the BJP candidate has been elected unopposed. However, Madhya Pradesh’s Betul, where polling was due to be held in the second phase but was rescheduled due to the death of the BSP candidate, has been added.

With the completion of this phase, the Lok Sabha elections will hit the halfway mark with polling done for over 280 seats across most of south, central, and west India, and the entire northeast.

The election process will be finished in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, and the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

Polling will also take place in Jhanjharpur, Supaul, Araria, Madhepura, and Khagaria constituencies of Bihar, Baharampur, Malda Uttar, Malda Dakshin, Jangipur, and Murshidabad in West Bengal, Sambhal, Hathras, Agra (SC), Fatehpur Sikri, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etah, Budaun, Aonla, and Bareilly in UP, Bhind, Bhopal, Guna, Gwalior, Morena, Rajgarh, Sagar, Vidisha, and Betul in Madhya Pradesh and Baramati, Raigad, Osmanabad, Latur (SC), Solapur (SC), Madha, Sangli, Satara, Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Kolhapur, and Hatkanangle in Maharashtra.

The next phase of polls will be held on May 13.

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