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Second Phase: 13 states to vote today for 89 LS seats


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New Delhi, April 25: Voting for the second phase of Lok Sabha polls will be held on Friday for 89 seats in 13 states with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi seeking a second-straight term from Wayanad in Kerala.
All 20 seats of Kerala will go to polls besides 14 of the 28 seats in Karnataka, 13 seats in Rajasthan, 8 seats each in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, 7 seats in Madhya Pradesh, 5 seats each in Assam and Bihar, 3 seats each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, and 1 seat each in Manipur, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir.
A total of 1206 candidates with four from Outer Manipur constituency will contest elections in this phase, campaigning for which ended Wednesday evening.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar and actor-turned-politician Arun Govil, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar’s brother DK Suresh (Cong), and former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy (JDS) are among the key candidates while BJP’s Hema Malini, Om Birla and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat seeking a hat-trick of wins from their respective constituencies.
The first of the seven-phase elections held last Friday for 102 seats across 21 states and Union territories saw a voter turnout of around 65.5 per cent.
After Friday’s phase, polling will be over in Kerala, Rajasthan and Tripura. In the first phase on April 19, polling was completed in all seats of Tamil Nadu (39), Uttarakhand (5), Arunachal Pradesh (2), Meghalaya (2), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Puducherry (1), Sikkim (1) and Lakshadweep (1).
In 2019, the NDA had won 56 of these 89 seats and the UPA 24. Six of these seats have been redrawn as part of the delimitation exercise. In Kerala, 2,77,49,159 people are eligible to cast their votes and out of them more than five lakh are first-time voters. Gandhi is the sitting MP from Wayanad and is pitted against CPI’s Annie Raja and BJP’s K Surendran.
Tharoor is aiming to win the Thiruvananthapuram seat for the fourth time. He is pitted against Chandrasekhar from the BJP and CPI’s Pannyan Raveendran.
Malini, who has represented the Mathura constituency since 2014, is contesting against Congress’s Mukesh Dhangar while Om Birla, a two-time MP from Kota, is facing Prahlad Gunjal of the Congress. Union minister Shekhawat is eyeing a third win from the Jodhpur seat and is pitted against Congress candidate Karan Singh Uchiyarda.
Tejasvi Surya, the sitting MP for Bangalore South and the national president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), will face Congress’s Sowmya Reddy. (PTI)


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