April 30 (IANS):
Polling for Lok Sabha and a few assembly seats in some states began in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, UP, Bihar, Gujarat, Srinagar, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu this morning.
Simultaneous balloting began Wednesday in Andhra Pradesh for 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 state assembly seats in Telangana region, officials said.
The key contestants for the Lok Sabha are union Ministers S. Jaipal Reddy, Sarve Satyanarayana and Balram Naik, Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao, Lok Satta Party chief Jayaprakash Narayan and Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi.
Telangana will formally become a state June 2.
The main contenders for the assembly seats include Chandrasekhara Rao, Congress’s Telangana unit president Ponnala Lakshmaiah, working president Uttam Kumar Reddy, former deputy chief minister Damodar Rajanarasimha, and former state ministers Geeta Reddy and D. Sridhar Babu.
Balloting is taking place at 30,574 polling booths.
As many as 265 candidates are in the fray for the Lok Sabha and 1,669 for the assembly seats.
More than 28.17 million electors are eligible to exercise their franchise.
Balloting in West Bengal for nine Lok Sabha seats and bypoll for one state assembly seat began Wednesday, officials said.
The BJP has fielded celebrities like Bollywood music composer Bappi Lahiri, Bengali actor George Baker and journalist Chandan Mitra.
As many as 87 candidates are in the fray for the Lok Sabha seats and four for the Galsi state assembly seat.
Over 13.8 million voters are eligible to vote in 17,330 polling booths.
Lok Sabha polls in 14 constituencies and by-polls for two state assembly seats began in Uttar Pradesh Wednesday, officials said.
The candidates to look out for include Congress president Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareli and Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh from Lucknow.
The other prominent contenders include BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi from Kanpur against former union minister Sriprakash Jaiswal of the Congress.
Over 24.6 million voters are eligible to vote at 25,380 polling booths.
As many as 233 candidates are in the fray for the Lok Sabha polls.
Balloting began Wednesday in Punjab for all its 13 Lok Sabha seats that went to the polls in a single phase, officials said.
Prominent candidates are Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Arun Jaitley, Congress’s Amarinder Singh, and three-time BJP MP, actor Vinod Khanna.
As many as 253 candidates are in the fray.
People queued up at polling stations even before 7 a.m.
A total of 234,011 poll officials have been deployed.
The Election Commission is expecting a voter turnout of 80 percent this time. In the 2009 election, Punjab had recorded over 70 percent polling.
Lok Sabha polls for seven seats of Bihar and bypoll for one state assembly seat began Wednesday, officials said.
As many as 94 candidates are in the fray in the Lok Sabha polls.
More than 11 million electors are eligible to vote at 10,157 polling booths where a total 58,215 poll officials have been deployed.
Lok Sabha polls in all 26 seats of Gujarat and by-polls for seven state assembly seats began Wednesday, officials said.
A total of 334 candidates are in the fray for the Lok Sabha.
Balloting is taking place at 45,380 polling stations where over 234,000 polling personnel have been deployed.
More than 40 million people are eligible to vote in all 26 constituencies where voting is being held in a single phase.
Balloting in the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmir began Wednesday, officials said.
The main contest is between Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference and Tariq Hamid Karra of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
As many as 14 candidates are in the fray.
Around 50 companies of central armed forces and over 10,000 police personnel have been deployed.
Dadra & Nagar Haveli
Balloting for the lone Lok Sabha seat of Dadra and Nagar Haveli began Wednesday, officials said.
As many as 11 candidates are in the fray.
A total of 188,783 people are eligible to vote at 163 polling booths across the union territory.
Daman & Diu
Voting for the lone parliamentary constituency of Daman and Diu began Wednesday, officials said.
Just four candidates are in the fray. Balloting is taking place at 119 polling stations.
As many as 102,260 electors are eligible to exercise their franchise in the union territory.