New Delhi, May 19: Polling in the final phase of Lok Sabha elections will be held today. 59 Lok Sabha constituencies, including Varanasi where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking to retain the seat, will go to polls, bringing the curtain down on the seven-phased mammoth electoral exercise which began on April 10. The results of Lok Sabha polls will be declared on May 23.
In the last phase of elections, 13 seats each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine in West Bengal, eight seats each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, all four constituencies in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and one seat in the Union Territory of Chandigarh will witness the polling. According to Election Commission of India (ECI), over 10.01 lakh people are eligible to exercise their democratic right. Ravi Shankar Prasad Among 4 Union Ministers in Fray in Last Phase of LS Polls in Bihar.
The poll panel has set up more than 1.12 lakh polling stations for smooth conduct of elections. Besides Lok Sabha polls, a bypoll will be held in Panaji, necessitated due to the death of former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar in March. By-elections will also be held in four assembly constituencies of Tamil Nadu — Sulur, Aravakurichi, Ottapidaram and Thiruparankundram. Lok Sabha Elections Results 2019 Predictions by Satta Bazar: NDA May Win 185-220 Seats, UPA 160-180, Says Matka.
All eyes will be on Varanasi where PM Narendra Modi is contesting against Congress’s Ajay Rai and SP-BSP grand alliance’s nominee Shalini Yadav. As many as seven union ministers are among 918 candidates whose fate will be sealed in the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
Other prominent political figures whose fate will be decided are Shatrughan Sinha (Congress) and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) from Patna Sahib constituency, Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan (BJP), Madhusudhan Tripathi (Congress) and Rambhusal Nishad of SP from Gorakhpur seat, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri of BJP and Congress' Gurjeet Singh Aujla from Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency and actor Sunny Deol, who is pitted against Congress heavyweight Sunil Jakhar from Gurdaspur seat.
The other leaders whose fortunes will also be decided in the final phase of polling are former Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal (Ferozepur), his wife and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Bhatinda) and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's wife Perneet Kaur in (Patiala), all in Punjab, three-time MP Anurag Thakur in Himachal Pradesh's Hamirpur, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren (Dumka) and former Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who faces sitting MP Kirron Kher in Chandigarh.
As many as 710 companies of security forces have been deployed in West Bengal where polling has been marred by violence so far. The Election Commission on Wednesday curtailed the campaign period in the state after violence marred the roadshow of BJP chief Amit Shah in Kolkata on Tuesday.
In the sixth phase of polling on May 12, over 63 per cent polling was recorded, with the highest turnout of 80.35 per cent in West Bengal and a minimum of 59.74 per cent in Delhi.