The second-last phase of the ongoing general elections is being held today in 59 parliamentary constituencies across six states and one Union Territory, namely Delhi-NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand.
As many as 979 candidates are in the fray, of which 174 belong to national parties and 65 are from state parties. Significantly, a whopping 430 candidates have been fielded by registered unrecognised parties while 310 are independents.
The National Election Watch and non-profit election research group Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 967 contestants out of total - affidavits of 12 candidates could not be analysed due to the unavailability of complete information - and found that close to one-third of the candidates, or 311 politicians, are crorepatis. And 11% of the contestants boast assets of Rs 5 crore or more. The average asset per candidate contesting in Phase 6 is Rs 3.41 crore.
Congress Party's Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, who is vying for the Guna seat in Madhya Pradesh, is the richest candidate with total assets of over Rs 374 crore, followed by BJP's East Delhi Lok Sabha candidate Gautam Gambhir (Rs 147 crore). At the other end of the spectrum, Rajib Mahato, a Shiv Sena candidate from West Bengal's Purulia constituency, has declared zero assets.
Here's the party-wise break-up: 85% of the candidates fielded by the BJP and 80% of the Congress candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore. The respective figures for the Bahujan Samajwadi Party and AAP stand at 63% and 50%.
The analysis further found that at least 189 contestants (20%) have declared criminal cases against themselves. This is the third highest among all the rounds held so far - Phase 4 had the highest number of contestants with a criminal background at 23%. In fact, more than half of the constituencies (34 seats) that will see polling tomorrow are reportedly red alert constituencies, where three or more contestants have some sort of a criminal record.
"Among the major parties, 18 (33%) out of 54 candidates from BJP, 12 (26%) out of 46 candidates from INC, 17 (35%) out of 49 candidates from BSP, 5 (31%) out of 16 candidates analysed from SHS [Shiv Sena], and 27 (9%) out of 307 independent candidates have declared serious criminal cases against themselves," the ADR report stated. This includes cases related to murder, kidnapping and crimes against women, including rape.
Which constituencies will vote on Phase 6 of Lok Sabha Elections 2019?
Uttar Pradesh (14 seats): Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Phulpur, Allahabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Shrawasti, Domariyaganj, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Lalganj, Azamgarh, Jaunpur, Machhlishahr and Bhadohi
Haryana (10): Ambala, Kurukshetra, Sirsa, Hisar, Karnal, Sonipat, Rohtak, Bhiwani-Mahendragarh, Gurgaon and Faridabad
Madhya Pradesh (8): Morena, Bhind, Gwalior, Guna, Sagar, Vidisha, Bhopal and Rajgarh
Bihar (8): Valmiki Nagar, Paschim Champaran, Purvi Champaran, Sheohar, Vaishali, Gopalganj, Siwan and Maharajganj
West Bengal (8): Tamluk, Kanthi, Ghatal, Jhargram, Medinipur, Purulia, Bankura and Bishnupur
Delhi-NCR (7): Chandni Chowk, North East Delhi, East Delhi, New Delhi, North West Delhi, West Delhi and South Delhi
Jharkhand (4): Giridih, Dhanbad, Jamshedpur and Singhbhum
What are the major parties in the states voting in Phase 6?
In 2014, the ruling party had won 44 of the 59 Lok Sabha seats up for polling on Sunday, 46 along with its allies. The ground situation has changed considerably since then, as regional parties have emerged a force to reckon with. To begin with, Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, which has tied up with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh, will prove to be a forceful third front in the state while in West Bengal, there's Mamata Banerjee's formidable All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) to contend with. The latter had won all the eight seats that will vote in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha election.
In Bihar, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had surprised many a political pundit in the 2015 assembly election by emerging as the single largest party and it grabbed two of three Lok Sabha seats when bypolls were held in 2018. So it's entirely debatable whether the BJP can repeat its 2014 feat when it had won seven of the eight constituencies voting on May 12 - its ally, the Lok Janshakti Party won the remaining seat.
Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party has similarly changed the political dynamics in the national capital. In 2015, the AAP won 67 of 70 assembly seats in Delhi election while the BJP could win only three.
In Jharkhand, the Opposition parties, the Congress, the JMM, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha Pragatisheel (JVMP) of the former CM Babulal Marandi and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) have formed a grand-alliance to put up a united fight against the BJP. The latter had won all four seats going to polls in the last general elections.
In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP is locked in a direct fight with the Congress. Of the eight Lok Sabha seats up for grabs in the next phase, the BJP had won seven while the Congress got one in 2014. But farmer distress and other factors tipped the balance in favour of the Congress in the recent assembly elections in the state so the party will be looking to snatch a few seats from the BJP this time round.
How to check the name on voters' list for Phase 4 of Lok Sabha Elections 2019?
Log on to the National Voter Services Portal's Electoral Search page (nvsp.in) 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.
How can you report any violation of Model Code of Conduct?
Through the ECI's mobile app, cVIGIL, people 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.
With PTI inputs