Polling for 35 legislative assembly seats in Odisha to be held simultaneously
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, April 17: The second phase of Lok Sabha elections 2019 will be held today with a total of 95 parliamentary constituencies spread across 11 states and one union territory going to the polls. Voting will begin at 7am and end at 6pm.
The states and UT that will go to the polls in Phase II of the ongoing general elections are Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
In the second phase, a total of 1611 candidates will fight for 95 seats. As many as 124 female candidates are contesting in the second round of polling and Karur parliamentary constituency in Tamil Nadu has the highest number of candidates with 42 of them in the fray.
According to the National Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) that analysed 1590 self-sworn affidavits out of the total 1644 candidates for phase II (including one cancelled seat in Tamil Nadu and one deferred seat in Tripura), 251 (16%) candidates declared criminal cases against themselves; 167 (11%) candidates have serious criminal cases; 423 (27%) crorepati candidates; and average assets of candidates is INR 3.9 cr.
No polling in 2 constituencies
The Election Commission of India had announced last month that a total of 97 parliamentary constituencies would go to the polls in the second phase of election but the number of seats has been reduced to 95 after it halted polling in two seats – one each in Tamil Nadu and Tripura.
Election to 8-Vellore parliamentary constituency (Tamil Nadu) has been rescinded following “reports of systematic design to influence voters, unearthed during Income Tax raids.” The ECI made a recommendation to the President of India to cancel the election in the constituency after over INR 11.48 cr. was seized during a raid by the I-T sleuths at a DMK leader’s house.
According to the ECI, the I-T department conducted raids at the residence of Durai Murugan, MLA and Treasurer of DMK Party, and his son Kathir Anand, who is contesting from Vellore parliamentary constituency, on March 29 and 30th. It also raided Kingston medical College run by the Durai Murugan Educational Trust. The department went on to raid certain premises of Anand’s close associates, including Sh. Damodaran, brother in law of DMK functionary Sh. Srinivasan, and seized INR 11.48 cr., most of which was packed in plastic packets with ward-wise details.
“In addition, unused labels, loose sheets with details of ward-wise breakup of voters and documents related to Kingston Engineering College were found from the residence of Sh. Damodaran,” said ECI in a statement, adding that Srinivasan had claimed ownership of the cash seized.
Following request from ECI, Ram Nath Kovind has issued the order to rescind the polls in 8-Vellore parliamentary constituency. It is the first time that election to a Lok Sabha constituency has been cancelled over excess indulgence of money power.
The Election Commission on Tuesday announced that the polling in the 2-Tripura East Lok Sabha seat, which was supposed to take place in the second phase on Thursday, has been postponed to April 23 due law and order problem in the constituency. It delayed the voting citing the reports of Tripura chief electoral officer that it is not conducive to hold free and fair poll in the state under the current situation.
Assembly elections in Odisha
A total of 35 legislative assembly seats in Odisha will go to the polls on Thursday, simultaneously with five Lok Sabha constituencies of Bargarh, Sundargarh, Bolangir, Kandhamal and Aska. 244 candidates, comprising 219 males and 25 females are in the fray for 35 seats.
Elections to the 147-member legislative assembly in the state are scheduled to be held concurrently with the Lok Sabha elections in four phases: April 11, 18, 23, and 29. The counting of votes will be done on May 23.
Tamil Nadu by-elections
The South Indian state will witness a mini-assembly election on Thursday as by-elections for 18 assembly constituencies will be held along with the general elections on the day. A total of 269 candidates are in the fray for the by-elections.
By-elections for 22 constituencies in the 234-member assembly will be held in two phases during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. While 18 seats will go to the polls in the second phase, the remaining four seats will go to polls on May 19 and the results will be declared on May 23.
Currently, AIADMK has 114 members (including the Speaker), DMK – 88, Congress – 8, IUML – 1, and Independent – 1 in Tamil Nadu state legislative assembly. The AIADMK needs four seats in the by-elections to attain a simple majority.
The first phase of election that was held on April 11 in 91 constituencies spread across 18 states and two union territories registered 69.43 percent voter turnout. Elections to the 17th Lok Sabha will be done in seven phases.