Polling began on April 18 morning for 95 Lok Sabha seats spread across 11 states and the union territory of Puducherry. Voting was also underway in 35 assembly constituencies in Odisha and in 18 assembly seats in Tamil Nadu.
Prominent faces in the fray in the Lok Sabha contest are Union ministers Jitendra Singh, Jual Oram, Sadananda Gowda and Pon Radhakrishnan; former prime minister H D Deve Gowda; DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja and Kanimozhi; Congress leaders Verappa Moily and Raj Babbar; National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and BJP’s Hema Malini.
More than 15.80 crore voters will decide the fate of the 1,600-odd contestants. Though there were no reports of any untoward incidents anywhere in the state, technical glitches delaying the start of polling were reported in a number of booths in Tamil Nadu.
In Tamil Nadu, polling is being held in 38 of the 39 Lok Sabha seats. Polling in Vellore Lok Sabha seat was cancelled on April 16 by the Election Commission following recovery of huge amount of cash allegedly from an associate of a DMK leader recently. The EC also announced postponement of polling in Tripura (East) Lok Sabha seat to the third phase on April 23, saying the prevailing law-and-order situation there is not conducive for holding free and fair polls.
Besides Tamil Nadu, polling is being held in 14 seats in Karnataka, 10 in Maharashtra, eight in Uttar Pradesh, five each in Assam, Bihar and Odisha, three each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, two in Jammu and Kashmir and one seat each in Manipur and Puducherry.
Of the 95 constituencies, the AIADMK holds the maximum of 36 seats, followed by the BJP with 27 seats. The Congress had won 12 of these seats in 2014, the Shiv Sena and the BJD 4 each, the JD-S and the RJD two each and the AIUDF, the NCP, the JD-U, the PDP, the AINRC, the PMK, the CPI-M and the TMC one seat each.