India votes in IInd Phase

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Overall, 95 Lok Sabha seats across 11 states and one in the Union Territory of Puducherry are going to polls today, in which electoral fortunes of four union ministers and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda will be decided.

Besides Tamil Nadu, polling will be 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.

Nearly 15.8 crore voters are eligible to vote in the Phase 2 of the Lok Sabha election.

Union ministers Jitendra Singh, Jual Oram, Sadananda Gowda, and Pon Radhakrishnan, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja and Kanimozhi are among the 1,600-odd contestants in the second phase of Lok Sabha polls to be held in 95 seats today  across 11 states and the Union territory of Puducherry.

By-elections on the 18 assembly seats in Tamil Nadu will decide the fate of the AIADMK government led by E Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam. The 234-member assembly has 22 vacancies, 18 of them due to disqualification of rebel lawmakers who have joined the team of TTV Dhinakaran. The AIADMK, which has 114 seats including the Speaker, needs 5 seats to retain the majority. In Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK is contesting as part of the NDA. The alliance comprises among others BJP, PMK, DMDK and Tamil Maanila Congress of former Union minister GK Vasan. On the other hand, the DMK has formed a “Secular Progressive Alliance” comprising the Congress and Left parties, among others.

The Election Commission also announced postponement of polling in Tripura (East) Lok Sabha seat to the third phase of 2019 Lok Sabha election on April 23, saying the prevailing law-and-order situation there is not conducive for holding free and fair polls.

Besides Tamil Nadu, polling will also be 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.

Lok Sabha and assembly elections are being held simultaneously in Odisha in four phases. Among today’s contestants are Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik, who is seeking a fifth term. He is contesting from his home turf Hinjili in Ganjam district and Bijepur in Bargarh.

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