Guwahati, April 10 : Ninety-one Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 18 states and two UTs will go to polls on Thursday in the first-phase.
India’s eight northeastern states including Andhra Pradesh and Telangana will vote in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls, with Nitin Gadkari, Kiren Rijiju and VK Singh among several Union ministers in the fray.
Along with the Lok Sabha polls, assembly polls will also be held simultaneously for the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly and the 32-member Sikkim Assembly on Thursday, officials said.
The 14 Lok Sabha constituencies that are going to polls on Thursday include five – Tezpur, Kaliabar, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur – in Assam, as well as both constituencies of Arunachal Pradesh (Arunachal West and Arunachal East) and Meghalaya (Shillong and Tura) and the lone seats of Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.
The other two are one each of Manipur and Tripura’s two parliamentary constituencies – Outer Manipur and Tripura West, respectively.
Data from the office of the Chief Electoral Officers in the eight states said that a total of 146 candidates are in the fray – 41 candidates for the five constituencies in Assam, 31 candidates for the two seats in Arunachal Pradesh, 26 for the two seats in Meghalaya, 18 candidates for one seat in Tripura, eight candidates in Manipur, 12 candidates in Sikkim, six candidates in Mizoram and four candidates in Nagaland.
A total of 184 candidates are in the fray for the election to the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly and 150 candidates in Sikkim.
Voting for 543 Lok Sabha seats will be held in seven phases: April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. Counting will be done on May 23.
Congress leader Renuka Chowdary (Khammam), AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi (Hyderabad), state Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy (Nalgonda) and daughter of TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao, are among the prominent candidates.
In Uttar Pradesh on eight seats the ruling BJP will clash with the newly-formed SP-BSP-RLD alliance.
In Muzaffarnagar, RLD chief Ajit Singh will take on BJP’s Sanjeev Balyan. His son Jayant Chaudhary is fielded against Union minister Satyapal Singh in Baghpat.
Union ministers V K Singh and Mahesh Sharma are BJP candidates in Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar, respectively.