The third phase of the Lok Sabha election 2019 is being held today. Polling will be held in 115 constituencies across 15 states and Union Territories. Voting in also being held in Tripura East constituency, which was earlier scheduled for April 18 but was rescheduled. Around 18.56 crore voters are eligible to vote in Phase 3 of the 2019 General Elections. Around 2.10 lakh polling booths/stations have been set up in the polling constituencies.
As many as 1,612 candidates are in fray, of which 316 belong to national parties and 76 are from state parties. Significantly, a whopping 496 candidates are from registered unrecognised parties while 724 are independents. One fourth of the contestants, or 392 politicians, boast a net worth of over Rs 1 crore, with average assets per candidate standing at Rs 2.95 crore, India Today reported. The National Election Watch and non-profit election research group Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) analysed affidavits of 1,594 candidates - affidavits of 18 candidates could not be analysed due to the unavailability of complete information - and found that around 10% of the candidates declared assets above Rs 5 crore.
Out of the 97 candidates fielded by the BJP, 81 are crorepatis. Similarly, 82% of the 90 Congress candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore. The respective figures for the Samajwadi Party, CPI(M) and NCP stand at 90%, 53% and 70%.
The analysis further found that at least 340 contestants (21%) have criminal cases registered against them. In fact, 63 of the 115 constituencies that will see polling tomorrow are reportedly red alert constituencies, where three or more contestants have some sort of a criminal record.
All the seats in Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu will be voting tomorrow. The other states that will head for polling in this phase are: Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Assam and Jammu and Kashmir. Last week, the Election Commission had also postponed polling in Tripura (East) Lok Sabha seat to the third phase, claiming that the prevalent law-and-order situation was not conducive for free and fair polls.
Which constituencies will vote on Phase 2 of Lok Sabha Elections 2019?
Karnataka (14 seats): Chikkodi, Belgaum, Bagalkot, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Raichur, Bidar, Koppal, Haveri, Bellary, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada, Davanagere and Shimoga
Maharashtra (14): Jalgaon, Raver, Jalna, Aurangabad, Raigad, Pune, Baramati, Ahmadnagar, Madha, Sangli, Satara, Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Kolhapur and Hatkanangle
Uttar Pradesh (10): Moradabad, Rampur, Sambhal, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etah, Badaun, Aonla, Bareilly and Pilibhit
Chhattisgarh (7): Surguja, Raigarh, Janjgir-Champa, Korba, Bilaspur, Durg and Raipur
Odisha (6): Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Puri and Bhubaneswar
West Bengal (5): Balurghat, Maldaha Uttar, Maldaha Dakshin, Jangipur and Murshidabad
Bihar (5): Jhanjharpur, Supaul, Araria, Madhepura and Khagaria
Assam (4): Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Barpeta and Gauhati
Goa (2): North Goa and South Goa
Jammu and Kashmir (1): Anantnag
What are the major parties in the states voting in Phase 2?
While national parties Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress have their presence in most states in the country, regional parties are a force to reckon with. To begin with, Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, which has tied up with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh, will prove to be a forceful third front in the state. Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha is facing stiff competition from the BJP this time.
In West Bengal, the BJP is trying to take on Mamata Banerjee's formidable All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), while Atul Bora's Asom Gana Parishad in Assam has joined forces with the BJP against the Congress in Assam. In Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena is in coalition with the BJP, while Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress will fight the ruling party.
Of the five seats in Bihar, the BJP had won only one in 2014 and it is again contesting one seat this time. Janata Dal (United), the BJP's ally in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), is contesting three seats while the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is contesting one seat. As part of the grand alliance, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is contesting three seats, while the Congress and the Vikasheel Insaan Party (VIP) are contesting one seat each.
But the big fight is obviously between the BJP and the Congress. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had won 62 of the 115 seats in the third phase while the Congress had won 16 seats. The Presidents of both these parties are in fray in this phase with BJP chief Amit Shah making his Lok Sabha election debut from Gandhinagar and Congress President Rahul Gandhi contesting from Wayanad. The BJP performance in this phase will be crucial in deciding its political fortunes, IANS reported.
How to check the name on voters' list for Phase 3 of Lok Sabha Elections 2019?
Log on to the National Voter Services Portal's Electoral Search page (NVSP) and check your name on the voter's list by entering your details. You can alternatively put in your Electoral Photo ID Card (EPIC) number.
What to do if you don't have a Voter ID card?
Log on to the NSVP Electoral Search page and click on search by details.
Put in your details, such as name, gender, age, assembly constituency etc.
Based on your details, a result will pop up, which means that your name is in the voter's list. In case, there is no pop-up, it means your name is probably missing from the voter's list.
Law and order, security arrangements
The Election Commission claims to have taken various measures to ensure
free and fair elections. Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and State Armed Police (SAP) have been deployed across the states going to polls in the vulnerable pockets. The forces will also be deployed in the expenditure sensitive constituencies and critical polling stations. On the poll-eve, the CAPFs/SAP will control the respective polling stations and provide security to the electors and polling personnel. Further, the entire force deployment in the assembly segments will be under the oversight of the central observers deputed by the commission.
How is EC monitoring election expenses?
The EC has issued comprehensive instructions for the effective monitoring of the election expenditure of the candidates. State Excise Department, Commercial Tax Department, Narcotics Control Bureau and police authorities have been asked to monitor production, distribution, sale and storage of liquor and other intoxicants (including narcotics) and inducements in the form of free goods during the election process.
The functioning and operations of the flying squads/mobile teams will be closely monitored using GPS Tracking and the use of cVigil App. For greater transparency and for the ease of monitoring of election expenses, candidates are required to open a separate bank account and incur their election expenses from that very account.
The Investigation Directorate of the Income Tax Department has been asked to activate air intelligence units in the airports of the state and also to gather intelligence and take necessary action against movement of a large sum of money.
What can you do if you report any violation of Model Code of Conduct?
Through the ECI's mobile app, cVIGIL, people can report about any violation of Model Code of Conduct, any incident of intimidation or inducement within minutes of having witnessed. cVIGIL is an Android-based mobile app, which is user-friendly. "All that one has to do is to simply click a picture or to take a video and briefly describe the activity before uploading it on the cVIGIL mobile application. If the complainant desires to remain anonymous he has the option to do so," says the EC. The district control room allocates cVIGIL cases to the flying squads, which further investigate the matter. The status of the complaint is also with the cVIGIL complainant in 100 minutes.
(Edited by Sushmita Choudhury Agarwal)