From north to south, from east to west, people in 97 constituencies spread across 13 states would vote on Thursday, April 17, in the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections being held in a total of seven phases.
This phase is most crucial for Tamil Nadu — which was supposed to see voting for all 39 constituencies. With the Vellore election now standing cancelled, voting will be held for 38 seats in the state.
The Lok Sabha elections in Vellore was cancelled after a massive cash haul. (Source: PTI)
President Ram Nath Kovind on April 16 cancelled the elections to the Vellore Parliamentary constituency in Tamil Nadu, based on the recommendation made by the Election Commission (EC). The EC’s move followed seizure of about Rs 12 crore in cash from a DMK leader’s associate in raids.
Tamil Nadu will also see voting for 18 Assembly seats after their MLAs were disqualified under the anti-defection law. The state Assembly has 21 vacant seats.
The Assembly speaker had disqualified 18 MLAs of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in September 2017 after they joined the camp of sidelined party leader TTV Dhinakaran. In October 2018, the High Court upheld the speaker’s decision.
The by-elections on April 18 will be held in Poonamallee, Perambur, Tiruporur, Sholinghur, Gudiyatham, Ambur, Hosur, Pappireddipapatti, Harur, Nilakkottai, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Manamadurai, Andipatti, Periyakulam, Sattur, Paramakudi and Vilathikulam.
Additionally, 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 each in Manipur, Tripura and Puducherry will be going to vote.
Voting for all 38 seats in Tamil Nadu is being held in a single phase. (Source: PTI)
Decisive victories in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are critical to the Congress-led alliance’s chances of unseating Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Karnataka is the only south Indian State where the BJP has a significant presence, and the party had won 17 of its 28 seats in 2014.
In the second phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, 27% or 427 candidates are crorepatis with assets worth Rs 1 crore and above. 11% of the candidates have declared assets above Rs 5 crore while 41% have declared assets below Rs 10 lakh, according to an analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The average asset per candidate contesting in the Lok Sabha Phase II election is Rs 3.9 crore.