12 May : The fifth and last phase of polling for 86 Lok Sabha seats in seven states and two union territories will be held on Wednesday, for which all arrangements have been completed and campaigning in these constituencies came to an end on Monday.
Voting will take place in 86 seats across 9 states and Union territories on Wednesday.
The last and final round of the Lok Sabha elections for the remaining 86 seats spread across seven states and 2 union territories, Puducherry and Chandigarh will be held on 13th May.
The general elections for 543 seats of the lower house of Parliament are widely expected to throw a hung verdict, but the struggle for power is mainly among the ruling Congress-led UPA coalition, the BJP-led NDA and the Third Front headed by the Left parties.Polling has been completed to 457 Lok Sabha seats since the exercise began on 16th April. Results will be out on 16th May.
The final leg would see election of 86 MPs and among the contenders are Congress’ P Chidambaram and Md Azharuddin, BJP’s Maneka and Varun Gandhi and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, DMK’s T R Baalu, A Raja, Dayanidhi Maran and M K Azhagiri, MDMK’s Vaiko, TC chief Mamata Banerjee and SP’s Jayaprada.
A party or a coalition needs 272 seats in the Lok Sabha to stake claim to form a government.
The Lok Sabha has 545 members, but elections are held to 543 seats as two members are nominated from the Anglo- Indian community.
Congress’ Mani Shankar Aiyar and Sajjad Gani Lone of People’s Conference also feature in the list of prominent names in this leg, in which 10.78 crore voters can choose from 1,432 candidates including 93 women.
Elections would be held to all 39 seats in the key state of Tamil Nadu and four seats in Himachal Pradesh, two in Jammu and Kashmir, nine in Punjab, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, 11 in West Bengal, five in Uttarakhand and the lone one seat each in both Chandigarh and Puducherry.
The Left Parties, whom Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi had sent feelers to for a post-poll tie-up, too have indicated that they were keeping options open.
"Let the elections be over. Let the results come…After May 16, we will see," said CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, whose party had withdrawn support to the Congress-led UPA over the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.
Elsewhere, Jayalalithaa denied that the AIADMK was in secret talks with others for an alliance.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi appeared together with DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on the same platform at an election meeting, while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too had called on him.
Tamil Nadu is key as the DMK-Congress combine had swept all the 39 seats in the 2004 elections.
However, the DMK-Congress alliance appears to have been weakened by the exit of Left parties. The PMK and MDMK are now part of the AIADMK-led front in Tamil Nadu.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti, which contested the elections in Andhra Pradesh as part of the Third Front, appeared in the company of NDA leaders at a public meeting in Ludhiana, highlighting that realignment of forces has begun.
LJP’s Ram Vilas Paswan on Monday skipped a meeting with the Fourth Front organised by constituent SP, but the party termed reports of fissures in the alliance as speculative and said that Paswan had previous commitments.
Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are the only states to go to the polls in all the five phases.
The prominent women candidates are Maneka Gandhi (Aonla), Mamata Banerjee (Kolkata Dakshin) and Jayaprada (Rampur).
Chidambaram is contesting from Sivaganga, Azharuddin (Moradabad), Varun Gandhi (Pilibhit), Naqvi (Rampur), Baalu (Sriperumbudur), Raja (Nilgiris), Maran (Central Chennai), Azhagiri (Madurai), Aiyar (Mayiladuthurai), Vinod Khanna (Gurdaspur), Najyot Singh Sidhu (Amritsar) and Lone (Baramulla).
Elections would be held across 1.21 lakh polling booths. As many as 5,995 villages and hamlets have been identified as prone to intimidation and over 18,000 people troublemakers.
In Baramulla and Ladakh Parliamentary constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, tight security arrangements have been put in place.
Security forces have taken positions well in advance around 1,946 polling stations in the constituencies to instill confidence among the over 12 lakh electors, officials said.
Although there was no violence during election campaign, security forces have been put on maximum alert and the borders of the constituencies have been sealed.
There are 18 candidates in the fray in the two constituencies. In Baramulla, there are 13 contestants including the former separatist leader Sajjad Gani Lone, and five in Ladakh.