New Delhi, April 18: Round two of the grand electoral battle will be held today, with polls scheduled in 95 constituencies spread across 11 states and 1 union territory. The maximum poll-bound seats in second phase of Lok Sabha elections 2019 are from Tamil Nadu, where 38 of the 39 parliamentary constituencies are being contested.
After Tamil Nadu, the largest number of seats will be contested in Karnataka, where 14 of the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies are on the line; followed by 10 seats in Maharashtra, 8 in Uttar Pradesh; 5 each in Odisha, Bihar and Assam; 3 each in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh; 2 Lok Sabha segments in Jammu & Kashmir and 1 each in Manipur and Puducherry. Farooq Abdullah, Hema Malini & More: 6 Key Candidates in Phase 2 of Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
Apart from the above parliamentary seats, 18 assembly bypolls will also be held in Tamil Nadu -- the outcome of which will determine the survival of the Palaniswami-Panneerselvam-led AIADMK government in the state.
As per the data released, a total of 1,644 candidates are in fray for the 97 Lok Sabha seats -- polling in two of them, Tripura East and Vellore, were deferred by the Election Commission. While security threat forced the polling body to push Tripura East polls to third phase, seizure of cash from premises linked to the DMK candidate led to the cancellation of election in Vellore.
A total of 15.7 crore voters are eligible to exercise their right to franchise in the polls being held today. Out of them, 8,02,60,815 are male voters and 7,76,62,567 are female; whereas, 11,136 are transgender voters.
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Farmers' distress is expected to be one of the dominating issues in this round of the polls. The 8 western UP constituencies where polls are being held today are dominated by sugarcane voters, who have protested on several occasions in the last 5 years over the delay in remunerative payments.
Similarly, the 10 Maharashtra seats being contested today are located in the Marathwada region, facing one of the worst agrarian crisis.
In Karnataka, a major section of the state's farmers have marked their dissent against both the Centre and the state government over the alleged inadequate MSPs.
The farmers of Tamil Nadu have staged several agitations in the national capital against the lack of adequate remunerative prices. 111 farmers of the state have also filed their candidature against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi to highlight their plight.