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India election 2024 phase 2: Who votes and what’s at stake?

India election 2024 phase 2

India election 2024 phase 2: In the second stage of the biggest election in history, 88 constituencies spread over 13 states will cast ballots on April 26.

On April 26, the second of seven phases of India’s massive parliamentary elections will take place, with all eyes on the southern states of Kerala and Karnataka.

A former chief of India’s main opposition who has never won a general election for his party, a former top UN official, and a former Bollywood star who is running for a third term but has let her supporters down by not showing up in person are among the candidates in round two.

On April 19, India’s general elections for the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha, the country’s lower house of parliament, began. On June 4, the outcomes of the biggest democratic election in history will be made public.

India boasts the world’s largest electorate, with 969 million registered voters, greater than the combined populations of the US, the EU, and Russia.

In addition to a plethora of regional and national contenders, the two primary alliances are the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), a coalition of 28 parties united by the primary opposition Indian National Congress to depose the BJP.

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When does voting start and end?

Voting will start at 7 am (01:30 GMT) and end at 6 pm (12:30 GMT). Voters already in the queue by the time polls close will get to vote even if that means keeping polling stations open longer.

Who votes in phase 2?

Voters from these 88 constituencies from 13 states and union territories will go to the ballot box:

  • Kerala: All 20 of the southern state’s seats
  • Rajasthan: 13 of the western state’s 25 seats
  • Karnataka: 14 of the southern state’s 28 seats
  • Uttar Pradesh: Eight of the northern state’s 80 seats
  • Madhya Pradesh: Six of the central state’s 29 seats
  • Assam: Five of the eastern state’s 14 seats
  • Chhattisgarh: Three of the central state’s 11 seats
  • Bihar: Five of the eastern state’s 40 seats
  • Maharashtra: Eight of the western state’s 48 seats
  • West Bengal: Three of the eastern state’s 42 seats
  • Tripura: One of the northeastern state’s two seats
  • Jammu and Kashmir: One of the union territory’s five seats
  • Manipur: Parts of one of the northeastern state’s two seats, which voted in the first phase, will also vote on April 26.

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Which major groups are there?

Wayanad, Kerala: Renowned opposition leader Rahul Gandhi will square off against Communist Party of India left-wing challenger Annie Raja in an attempt to retain the seat that elected him in 2019. Though they are opponents in Kerala, Gandhi’s Congress and the Communists are both a part of the national opposition INDIA coalition. Gandhi is a past prime minister’s son, grandson, and great-grandson, although the Congress party has lost handily to the BJP thrice. K Surendran, the state president of the BJP, is also a candidate. Since the 2009 elections, Wayanad has been a stronghold for the Congress. The only significant Indian state without a single BJP MP elected to parliament is Kerala.

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala: Senior Congressman Shashi Tharoor, a writer, former UN undersecretary-general, and minister, is running for reelection a fourth time. The junior information technology minister from the BJP, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, is his biggest rival. The ruling party is expecting to win against all odds, as it lacks both the numbers and the proof of widespread support. In this constituency, the BJP has trailed the Congress in the last two general elections. Kerala’s population is composed of 27% Muslims, 18% Christians, and 55% Hindus. However, the Hindu nationalist BJP has found it difficult to get even the majority of the Hindu vote in Kerala thus far.

Mandya, Karnataka: The BJP has never won the Mandya seat in southern Karnataka. While Modi boasted of a target of crossing the 400-seat mark on the back of his alliance this time, only strong wins in southern India can make that possible. The BJP did win 25 of the state’s 28 seats in the 2019 general elections and also ruled at the state level from 2008 to 2013, and from 2018 to 2023. But the Congress, which is back in power in Karnataka, is hoping to garner a large victory as it has campaigned against the government, saying it discriminates against the southern states, which get few resources from the federal government. The Congress candidate, Venkataramane Gowda – also known as Star Chandru – is up against former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal Secular, an ally of the BJP.

Mathura, Uttar Pradesh: This seat has been held by BJP actor Hema Malini from Bollywood since 2014. She is up against Mukesh Dhangar, the state president of the Congress. BJP stronghold Mathura, like with other cities in the most populous state in India, is home to mosques that the party of Modi alleges were constructed on top of destroyed temples. It is the Shahi Idgah mosque in Mathura, built in the 17th century. Mathura might support the BJP, but Malini is more well-known for not visiting the area, where it is said that she only shows up during election seasons.

Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh: From this area, former BJP minister Mahesh Sharma has won thrice. Mohammed Akhlaq was lynched in this constituency’s village of Bisahda in 2015 after it was alleged that he had stolen and killed a cow. Because of the rumor, the 52-year-old Muslim ironsmith was pulled from his house and killed by beating. Prime Minister Modi has come under fire recently for inciting anti-Muslim sentiment by comparing the Muslim population to “infiltrators.” The prime minister made remarks during an election rally in the western state of Rajasthan that were generally interpreted as a reference to the Muslim minority. He added that the opposition sought to give money to “those who have many children.”

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Who rules states that vote in the second phase?

  • Kerala is governed by a left-wing alliance led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which is part of INDIA.
  • The BJP governs Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
  • The BJP rules through alliances in Bihar and Maharashtra.
  • The Congress governs Karnataka.
  • West Bengal is governed by the All India Trinamool Congress Party, a part of INDIA.

Who won these Lok Sabha seats in 2019?

  • In the last Lok Sabha election, Congress-led alliances United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala, won 23 of the 88 seats that will vote on April 26. Several parties from the UPA are now part of the INDIA bloc.
  • The BJP-led NDA won 62 of the seats in 2019.
  • Two independent candidates won seats in 2019 in Karnataka and Maharashtra each. The Bahujan Samaj Party took one seat in Uttar Pradesh.
  • A delimitation exercise in Assam last year changed the organization of constituencies. In 2019, Assam had a constituency called the Autonomous District which comprised Diphu as an assembly segment among others. Diphu has now replaced the Autonomous District as a constituency in 2024. The BJP won the Autonomous District in 2019. Additionally, Darrang-Udalguri was previously called Mangaldoi, which the BJP won.

How much of India has voted so far?

102 constituencies across 21 states cast ballots in the election’s first round on April 19. All seats in Tamil Nadu, together with those in Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry, have ended voting.

Phase one of the election saw voting for both of Manipur’s seats; phase two will see voting in Outer Manipur twice.

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