Prime News, National, New Delhi, April 29:- Voting has begun for the fourth phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The voting began at 7 this morning amidst tight security arrangements. Polling is taking place for 71 Parliamentary constituencies, spread over nine states and Kulgam district of Anantnag Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir.
Voting is taking place for 17 seats in Maharashtra, 13 each in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, eight in West Bengal, six each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, five in Bihar, and three in Jharkhand in this phase.
The prominent candidates in the fray include Union Ministers Giriraj Singh, SS Ahluwalia, Babul Supriyo, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, PP Chaudhary, Subhash Bhamre and Sudershan Bhagat, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav, film actor Urmila Matondkar, BJP Bihar unit chief Nityanand Roy and RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha.
Voting is also being held for the remaining 41 Assembly seats in Odisha, by-election to Chhindwara Assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh, Nighasan in Uttar Pradesh, and Krishnaganj in West Bengal. In Maharashtra, 17 constituencies going to polls are all the six seats from Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, Bhiwandi, Nashik, Palghar, Maval, Shirdi, Dhule, Shirur, Dindori and Nandurbar.
In West Bengal, polling is being held for Baharampur, Bolpur, Birbhum, Ranaghat, Krishnanagar, Asansol, Burdwan East, and Burdwan-Durgapur constituencies. 68 candidates are in the fray for 8 Parliamentary seats. Besides state police, around 580 companies of central forces have been deployed. Election Commission appointed special police observer Vivek Dubey has said that almost all polling booths will be manned by the central force this time. Security measures have been tightened along the India-Bangladesh border.
In Bihar, polling is taking place in Darbhanga, Ujjiarpur, Samastipur, Begusarai, and Munger. 66 candidates, including three women, are in the fray five seats. In Uttar Pradesh, polling is progressing peacefully for 13 constituencies amid tight security. The constituencies where voting is going on are Shahjahanpur, Kheri, Hardoi, Mishrikh, Unnao, Farrukhabad, Etawah, Kannauj, Kanpur, Akbarpur, Jalaun, Jhansi and Hamirpur.
“There are 152 candidates including 18 women in the fray in this phase. Twenty seven thousand 512 polling booths have been set up for 2 crore 41 lakh voters . The first time voters are 3 lakh 56 thousand and five. Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place and whole area has been divided into 293 zones and 2 thousand 298 sectors.
Besides 1 lakh 73 thousand civil police and other security personnel, two hundred thirty companies of Central Armed Police Forces and 58 companies of PAC have been deployed. The key contestants in this phase are SP president Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav, Salman Khurshied and Sripraksh Jaiswal of Congress, Satyadev Pachauri, Sakshi Maharaj and Ram Shankar Katherina of BJP.
In Jammu and Kashmir, strict security arrangements are in place in Kulgam district, part of the Anantnag Parliamentary constituency. Officials said a multi-layered security set up has been put in place for the protection of polling booths, handling of law and order problems and thwarting the designs of anti-national elements to disrupt the polls. All of the 433 polling stations have been designated either as hypersensitive or sensitive. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)