Phase 5 to decide fate of Rahul, Smriti, Rajnath

Polling for the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections began on May 20 across a total of 49 seats, including in high-profile constituencies of Amethi and Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh.

The fate of five Union ministers, including Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani, and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be decided during the fifth phase of elections covering 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in UP.

Uttar Pradesh

The seats voting in the fifth phase are Lucknow, Mohanlalganj (SC), Rae Bareli, Amethi, Jalaun (SC), Jhansi, Hamirpur, Banda, Fatehpur, Kaushambi (SC), Barabanki (SC), Faizabad, Kaisarganj and Gonda.

Rahul Gandhi is in the fray from Rae Bareli, which was represented by his mother and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi earlier. For the INDIA bloc, the Congress has fielded K.L. Sharma from Amethi, Tanuj Punia from Barabanki (SC) and Pradeep Jain ‘Aditya’ from Jhansi. Samajwadi Party (SP) candidates are in the poll fray on the rest of the seats.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is eyeing a fourth term from Lucknow. He is pitted against sitting SP MLA Ravidas Mehrotra from Lucknow Central. Union minister Smriti Irani has been fielded from the neighbouring Amethi constituency.

In Kaisarganj Lok Sabha seat, the contest is between BJP’s Karan Bhushan Singh, son of former MP and ex-president of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, and SP’s Bhagat Ram.

Faizabad Lok Sabha seat, which covers the temple town of Ayodhya, will see a contest between sitting BJP MP Lallu Singh, who is seeking a hat-trick, and Awadhesh Prasad, the SP MLA from Milkipur (SC) Assembly constituency in Ayodhya district.


In the fifth and last phase of general elections in Maharashtra, 13 of the total 48 seats in the State are polling today. Union ministers Piyush Goyal , Bharati Pawar and Kapil Patil are among the key nominees of the BJP, which has also fielded lawyer Ujjwal Nikam. Shiv Sena’s Shrikant Shinde and Mumbai Congress chief Varsha Gaikwad are also in the fray.

The main contest is between the ruling Mahayuti comprising the Shiv Sena, BJP and NCP, and the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance comprising Shiv Sena (UBT), Congress and NCP (SP).


In Bihar, where voting is underway in five Lok Sabha seats — Muzaffarpur, Madhubani, Sitamarhi, Saran and Hajipur — 80 candidates are in the fray.

Notable contestants include NDA ally Chirag Paswan in Hajipur, Lalu Prasad’s daughter Rohini Acharya, who is pitted against two-term sitting BJP MP and former Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy in Saran, and Muzaffarpur’s sitting MP Ajay Nishad, who crossed over to the Congress after being denied a BJP ticket for a third term.

Sudhir Kumar Ojha, an advocate who remains in the news for his petitions against top political figures, Bollywood stars and even foreign heads of State, is contesting from Muzaffarpur.


Voting commenced at 7 a.m. in Aska, Kandhamal, Bolangir, Bargarh, and Sundargarh parliamentary constituencies, along with 35 Assembly segments within these Lok Sabha seats.

Prominent leaders whose electoral fate will be decided include Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is contesting from two Assembly segments (Hinjili in Ganjam district and Kantabanji in Bolangir district), six Odisha ministers, BJP MPs Sangeeta Singh Deo and Jual Oram, and former Indian hockey skipper Dilip Tirkey.

West Bengal

Voting commenced in Bangaon (SC), Barrackpore, Howrah, Uluberia, Sreerampur, Hooghly, and Arambag (SC) Lok Sabha constituencies at 7 a.m. and will continue till 6 p.m.

A total of 88 candidates are contesting in the fifth phase, with the highest number of 15 candidates in Bongaon, where Union Minister Shantanu Thakur is contesting against TMC’s Biswajit Das.

Jammu and Kashmir

Polling began in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency where 22 candidates, including former chief minister Omar Abdullah, are in the fray.

The constituency is spread over 18 Assembly segments in the three districts of Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora, and also includes two segments of Budgam that were included on the recommendations of the delimitation commission two years ago.

The first major political battle post the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 will decide the fate of Mr. Abdullah, the National Conference vice-president, and 21 others in the fray. Mr. Abdullah faces the biggest challenge from separatist-turned-politician and former minister Sajad Lone, who heads the People’s Conference.

However, it is the presence of jailed Awami Ittehad Party leader and former MLA Abdul Rashid Sheikh alias Engineer Rashid that has spiced up the contest.

The People’s Democratic Party has fielded former Rajya Sabha member Mir Mohammad Fayaz while Muneer Khan, the brother of jailed separatist leader Nayeem Ahmad Khan, is contesting as an Independent.

‘We expect all poll officials not to forget responsibilities’

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday urged all officials on election duty not to forget their constitutional responsibilities in the face of pressure and warned of strict action against anyone who insults the constitutional oath once the INDIA bloc forms government.

His remarks on ‘X’ came over Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s post on the social media platform in which he shared a video purportedly showing a person voting for the BJP “eight times”.

“Seeing its defeat, the BJP wants to rob democracy by putting pressure on the government machinery to deny the mandate,” Gandhi said in a post on X.

The Congress expects all officials on election duty not to forget their constitutional responsibilities in the face of pressure from power, he said. “Otherwise, as soon as the government of the INDIA bloc is formed, such action will be taken that in future anyone will think 10 times before insulting the ‘oath of the Constitution’.”

Posting the video on X from his official account, Yadav said, “If the Election Commission feels that this is wrong then it must take some action. Otherwise, the BJP’s booth committee is actually a loot committee.

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