All arrangements are in place for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections tomorrow. Ninety seven constituencies, spread over 12 States and one Union Territory, will go to polls in this phase.
These include- all 39 constituencies of Tamil Nadu, 14 in Karnataka; 10 in Maharashtra; eight in Uttar Pradesh; five each in Assam, Bihar and Odisha; 3 each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal; two in Jammu and Kashmir and one each in Manipur, Tripura and Puducherry. Campaigning for this phase ended last evening. Political parties will resort to door to door campaign today.
As all the seats in Tamil Nadu are identified as expenditure sensitive, special measures are being taken by the Election Commission to check money power. The number of sensitive booths in the state has escalated to 8293, where polling would be web-streamed or video-graphed. The state also faces bye-elections for 18 Assembly seats along with the Lok Sabha polls.
In Karnataka, over two crore 67 lakh voters will decide the fate of 241 candidates in this phase. The Director General and Inspector General of Police, Neelamani N Raju has informed that Hassan, Mandya, Tumkuru and Bengaluru Rural are vulnerable constituencies where the additional police force is deployed.
In Maharashtra, A total of 179 candidates are in the fray for the ten seats. Preparations are on in full swing with both men and machinery expected to reach their respective booths by this evening. Some key personalities whose fate will be decided in this phase include BJP’s sitting MP Pritam Munde from Beed, state Congress president Ashok Chavan from Nanded, former Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde from Solapur and Mahagathbandan candidate Navneet Rana from Amravati.
In Uttar Pradesh, polling will take place for Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Amroha, Bulandshaher, Nagina, Hathras, Aligarh and Mathura Lok Sabha constituencies.
In Assam, Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Sahu has said that polling parties at some remote areas have already left for the polling stations. The CEO said, adequate security measures are being taken to ensure peaceful polling. Special arrangement will be made for senior citizens and PwD voters.
In Puducherry, 18 candidates are in the fray for the lone Lok Sabha seat. Election Commission has made elaborate security arrangements. 1850 police personnel and 10 companies of central forces have been deployed. 222 polling booths have been identified as vulnerable and 25 as critical stations. Around 4400 polling personnel in all the 970 polling booths have been deployed. A report:-
Meanwhile, electioneering has gained momentum for the third phase of polling slated to be held for 115 constituencies spread across 12 states and 2 Union Territories on 23rd of this month.
Senior BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed rallies in Odisha and Chhattisgarh yesterday, while Congress President Rahul Gandhi campaigned in Kerala. Star campaigners of different political parties are holding rallies and roadshows across the country to woo the voters.