Currently, voting is underway in 95 seats across 11 states and 1 Union Territory in the second phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections under the shadow of cash-for-vote scam. Elections are being held in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, and Manipur. The voters will today decide the fortunes of union ministers Jitendra Singh, Jual Oram, Sadananda Gowda and Pon Radhakrishnan and the results will be announced on May 23, 2019. Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, former Union ministers Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja and DMK leader Kanimozhi are other big names for today’s polling.
In the last few days, tax officials conducted several raids in Tamil Nadu and seized big unaccounted cash which meant allegedly to bribe the voters. Reports said Income Tax sleuths seized cash and gold worth Rs 500 crore while unaccounted cash worth Rs 1.48 crore was seized from the residence of a party worker of TTV Dhinakaran. After a major crackdown by the Income Tax officials, polling is underway in 38 Lok Sabha and 18 assembly seats in Tamil Nadu too.
Voting in the Vellore and Tripura East seats have been postponed following the recovery of huge cash and gold by Income Tax officials. Polling in Tripura has been postponed because of security concerns. The Election Commission said the law and order situation was not satisfactory enough to conduct elections.
The second phase of polling for five Lok Sabha and 35 Assembly seats is also underway in Odisha. A total of 76.93 lakh voters are eligible to cast their franchise for Bargarh, Sundergarh, Bolangir, Kandhamal and Aska Lok Sabha seats and 35 Assembly seats under these parliamentary constituencies in western and southern Odisha. A total of 35 candidates are in the fray for the five Lok Sabha seats while 244 candidates are contesting for the 35 Assembly seats in the state. Odisha will witness Lok Sabha and assembly elections simultaneously in four phases. State Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik is among today’s contestants who is seeking a fifth term. He is contesting from his home turf Hinjili in Ganjam district and Bijepur in Bargarh.
Uttar Pradesh, which sends as many as 80 MPs to parliament, is witnessing election for a total of eight seats in the second phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Today’s polling will seal the future of a total of 85 candidates contesting on different party symbols. The second phase of polls in Western UP is important for the ruling BJP, which won all of these seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
In Maoist affected Chhattisgarh, polling is underway in three Lok Sabha constituencies of the state. In Bihar, polling in progress in five parliamentary constituencies Kishanganj, Purnia, Katihar, Bhagalpur and Banka amidst tight security. More than 86 Lakh electors would decide the political future of 68 candidates.