#LokSabhaPolls: Voting for fifth phase begins, big names in frayLast updated on May 06, 2019, 09:20 am
The fifth phase of 2019 general elections began on Monday. 51 parliamentary constituencies spread across seven states will vote in the leanest phase of polls.
However, the highlight of this phase is that several big-ticket names are testing their fates today.
From UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to his son and Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the polls will be closely watched.
Here are more details.
Here's looking at the states where polling is underway
14 seats of Uttar Pradesh and 12 in Rajasthan went into polls. Apart from these, polls are being held in seven seats each in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.
Citizens of five seats in Bihar and four in Jharkhand will also get inked.
Polling took place in Ladakh constituency of Jammu and Kashmir. Pulwama and Shopian districts of Anantnag Lok Sabha seat also voted.
Rahul and Smriti are battling each other for second time
Rahul Gandhi is seeking re-election from his home turf Amethi. He is facing stiff competition from BJP's Smriti Irani, who lost in 2014.
In the last elections, the vote margin between Rahul and Smriti was a little more than 1,00,000 votes. This time the union minister is confident of defeating Congress president.
Notably, Rahul is also contesting from Kerala's Wayanad.
Voters of Raebareli and Lucknow also got inked
Rahul's mother Sonia is seeking a fourth term from Raebareli. After representing Amethi in the parliament, Sonia moved towards Raebareli in 2004, vacating the seat for her son Rahul.
In Lucknow, Union Minister Rajnath Singh is contesting against Samajwadi Party's Poonam Sinha (who is actor Shatrughan Sinha's wife).
After getting inked, Singh said BJP will get a second term.
Two schools in Shopian district were set on fire
According to reports, two schools set up as polling booths in Shopian were set on fire. Shopian district is one of the areas of Kashmir where militancy is quite active.
Separately, EVM snagging was reported from various booths in Hooghly, West Bengal. This led to outrage and voting was delayed.
Meanwhile, voters in Ladakh defied freezing temperatures to come out and get inked.
BSP chief Mayawati cast her vote
Modi urged "young friends" to turn up in large numbers
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to appeal to "young friends" to exercise their democratic rights.
"A vote is the most effective way to enrich our democracy and contribute to India's better future," he wrote.
Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who cast his vote in Jharkhand, said voters have become "very conscious of their candidates". He underscored that local and national issues will decide results.