2019 LS election: Phase 1 campaign comes to a close

Chennai: First phase of campaign for Lok Sabha election will come to an end today as 20 States and few Union Territories will go for polls 11 April.

Voting will take place in 91 Parliamentary constituencies in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Uttarakhand, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Telangana.

States such as Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal will have voting in few of their constituencies in the first phase.

Meanwhile, multiple opinion polls have predicted BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will win again.
According to a VMR opinion poll, the NDA is likely to edge its way across the majority mark with 279 seats in a closer fight this time.

The survey predicted the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to finish a distant second with 149 seats, which incidentally is 89 more than last time, while other parties that comprise both UPA-friendly and neutral parties are expected to notch up 115 seats.

The predicted vote shares are: 40.8 per cent for NDA, 30.7 per cent for UPA and 28.5 per cent for others. The NDA may get 2.6 per cent votes more than in 2014, when there was a Modi wave, but still end up shedding 57 seats, the opinion poll said.

It must be noted that the BJP came out with its manifesto only Monday in which it promised to make India world’s third largest economy, doubling farmer income, among others.

Around 900 million people are eligible to vote in the elections that happens in seven phases – 11 April, 18 April, 23 April, 29 April, 6 May, 12 May and 19 May. The counting will take place 23 May.

In the last election in 2014, there were more than 830 million registered voters, but only about 553 million (or 66 per cent) of the eligible voters came out to vote.

NT Bureau