Lok Sabha polls 2019: The country will go to seven-phased Lok Sabha polls between April 11 and May 19. The first phase of the election will see a total of 20 states, including Uttar Pradesh, participating in the festival of democracy. Among all the states in India, UP sends maximum 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. Considering its huge population and vast geographical area, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to hold elections in each of the seven phases in UP.
In UP, the first phase of polls will be held on eight Parliamentary seats, including Saharanpur, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar. The polling will be held between 7am to 6 pm. The EC has said all the adequate security arrangement would be done to ensure a smooth polling process.
The incumbent BJP government under Yogi Adityanath in UP is confident of winning with a majority seats this time but a stiff competition from Rahul-Priyanka led Congress and united SP-BSP front can create derail the BJP's plan, say experts. In 2014, the BJP won 71 out of 80 seats in UP, helping it to form the government at the centre. This was also the party's highest number since 1998 when it won as many as 58 seats.
The Lok Sabha elections in UP will see a triangular contest between the BJP, SP-BSP and the Congress party. Big faces fighting the Lok Sabha elections in UP include Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Varanasi), Congress Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Union minister Maneka Gandhi, SP President Akhilesh Yadav, his father and party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, BSP supremo Mayawati, among others. The BJP has pitted Bhojpuri actor and singer Dinesh Lal Yadav against Akhilesh Yadav from Azamgarh. It has fielded Prem Singh Shakya against Yadav's father Mulayam Singh Yadav from Mainpuri and also named Dinesh Pratap Singh, a local strongman who left the Congress to join it last year, as its candidate against Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli. Union minister Smriti Irani could take on Rahul Gandhi from Amethi.
Other states going to poll in the first phase of election include Andhra Pradesh (25 parliamentary constituencies), Uttar Pradesh (8), Maharashtra (7), Telangana (17), Uttarakhand (5), Arunachal Pradesh (2), Assam (5), Bihar (4), Chhattisgarh (1), Jammu and Kashmir (2), Manipur (1), Meghalaya (2), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Odisha (4), Sikkim (1), Tripura (1), West Bengal (2), Andaman (1) and Lakshadweep (1). The result for the Lok Sabha election will be announced on May 23.
Edited by Manoj Sharma