Polling for the second phase of Lok Sabha polls is underway. Ninety-five constituencies, spread over 11 States and one Union Territory are going to the polls today.
Earlier, 97 constituencies were scheduled to be covered in the second phase. But election to Vellore seat in Tamil Nadu was cancelled over allegations of excess use of money power and polling to Tripura (East) has been postponed to the third phase, over law and order concerns.
Polling is being held in 38 constituencies in 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 and Puducherry.
In Tamil Nadu, voting in 38 Lok Sabha seats and 18 Assembly constituencies is underway. Polling is going on smoothly and peacefully, as elaborate arrangements have been made for over 5.99 crore voters to exercise their franchise freely. Polling will go on till 6 pm in all constituencies except in Madurai where electors can vote till 8 pm as a two-hour extension has been given in view of the famous Kallazhagar festival there.
Several political party leaders have exercised their franchise in their respective polling booths. Five-tier security arrangements have been made in front of polling stations. Special measures have been made in more than 8200 booths that are identified as either sensitive or critical.
In Karnataka voting is being held in 14 parliamentary constituencies. There are 241 candidates in the fray in this phase. Our Correspondent gives us the poll s from Bengaluru. In Uttar Pradesh polling for eight Lok Sabha seats is underway. They are Mathura, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Amroha, Bulandshaher, Nagina, Hathras and Aligarh. There are around one crore 41 lakh voters including nearly 65 lakh women. Over 6.5 lakh voters will exercise their franchise for the first time. Elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polls in the areas with deployment of Uttar Pradesh police personnel and Paramilitary forces.
In Chhattisgarh, polling is in progress in three Maoist affected Lok Sabha constituencies of the state. In Bihar, polling is underway in five parliamentary constituencies Kishanganj, Purnia, Katihar, Bhagalpur and Banka amidst tight security. More than 86 Lakh electors would decide political future of 68 candidates.
AIR correspondent reports that strict vigil is being maintained along the Indo- Nepal Border area in Kishanganj parliamentary constituency. To ensure free, fair and peaceful elections patrolling has been intensified. In Odisha voting is being held in 5 Lok Sabha and 35 Assembly constituencies. There are 35 candidates for Lok Sabha and 244 candidates for Assembly seats. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is contesting from Hinjili and Bijepur Assembly constituencies.
In Jammu and Kashmir over 29.81 lakh voters will decide the fate of 24 candidates contesting for Udhampur and Srinagar Parliamentary seats in the 2nd phase of Lok Sabha elections today. A total of4,426 polling stations have been set up in the two constituencies. 12 candidates are in the fray in Srinagar.
National Conference President and three time Chief Minister and three time Parliament member Dr Farooq Abdullah is among the 12 candidates. Congress has not fielded any candidate for the Srinagar seat. Dr. Jitendra Singh of the BJP is seeking re-election from the Udhampur constituency. In Asaam, polling in five constituencies began this morning.