#ElectionPhase4: 72 constituencies go to polls, Bollywood celebrities vote
The fourth phase of elections began on Monday as 72 Lok Sabha seats, spread across 9 states, went into polling. In this phase, 957 candidates are in the fray. India's financial capital Mumbai also cast its vote today with Bollywood celebrities coming out in large numbers to get inked. Some seats in Congress governed Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh also went into polls. Here's more.
Polling is underway in 17 seats of Maharashtra, 13 each of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, and eight constituencies of West Bengal. Along with these, six seats each of Madhya Pradesh and Odisha also went into polls. Citizens of five seats of Bihar and three in Jharkhand will also get inked. A part of Anantnag constituency in Jammu and Kashmir will vote too.
There are several key candidates who are trying out their luck today. In Begusarai, veteran BJP leader Giriraj Singh is locking horns with CPI's Kanhaiya Kumar and RJD's Tanveer Hassan. In Mumbai North, actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar (Congress) is taking on incumbent BJP MP Gopal Shetty. It is a fight between BJP's Poonam Mahajan and Congress' Priya Dutt in Mumbai North-Central.
For the BJP, the stakes are high as Hindi heartland went to polls. In December, Congress wrested power from the saffron party in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan. In 2014, BJP swept MP (29 seats) and Rajasthan (25 seats). Barring, 2 seats, BJP won all 54 seats last time. Notably, in UP's 13 seats, there's a direct fight between BJP and grand alliance.
All eight seats of West Bengal are witnessing a four-cornered fight among Trinamool, Congress, BJP and the Left. Reports of EVM malfunctioning emerged from booth No. 205 and 207 under Bolpur constituency. Angry voters protested against the polling officers. Notably, Asansol, which holds importance for BJP also polls today. Sitting MP Babul Supriyo is taking Trinamool candidate Moon Moon Sen head on.
As Mumbai went into polls, Bollywood celebrities got inked. BJP's sitting MP Paresh Rawal and his wife Swaroop cast their votes a short while ago. Actresses Rekha and Priyanka Chopra also cast their votes. Industrialist Anil Ambani and RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das were seen at polling booths as well. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked citizens to exercise their democratic rights.
Another phase of the General Elections begins today. I hope those voting today do so in large numbers and break the voting records of the previous three phases.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 29, 2019
A special appeal to young voters to head to the polling booth and exercise their franchise.