24 Apr : With the completion of polling process in 265 Lok Sabha seats yesterday, the month-long, five-phase election – the world’s largest democratic exercise enters the third stage with the electoral machinery gearing up for the third phase of polling on 30th April in nine States and two Union Territories.In all, 1567 candidates are in fray for 107 Lok Sabha Constituencies, thus averaging 14.64 contestants per seat. The contestants also include 101 women candidates contesting from seven States, as there are no female contestants in this phase from the States of Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim and UTs of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.
The maximum number of the Lok Sabha Constituencies going to polls in the 3rd phase is 26 from Gujarat, followed by 16 in Madhya Pradesh, 15 in Uttar Pradesh, 14 in West Bengal, 11 each in Bihar and Karnataka, 10 in Maharashtra and one each in J&K, Sikkim, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.
Amongst the seven National Parties, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is contesting on 102 seats in the 3rd phase, followed by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) which is contesting on 95 and the Indian National Congress (INC) on 93 parliamentary constituencies out 107 going to polls on 30th April. The seats contested by remaining four National Parties in this phase are : CPI – 9, CPM – 15, NCP – 19 and the RJD – 8. Amongst these Parties, the maximum number of female candidates is from INC (11), followed by BJP (6), BSP (3), CPI (2) and CPM (1).
The completion of polling process in 3rd phase on 30th April would mean that polling would be over in 372 Lok Sabha constituencies (with polling already over in 124 and 141 seats in phase I and phase II respectively). The polling for remaining 171 Lok Sabha seats would take place in two phases on 7th May for 85 seats and 13th May for 86 seats, thus completing the polling process for 543 Lok Sabha seats. The counting of votes would take place on 16th of May and is expected to be completed on the same day.
( For more information about General Elections 2009, Please visit PIB’s website www. pib.nic.in/elections2009