Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Guide To Phase 2
Since the first phase of polling, the Election Commission has censured four political leaders for their hate speeches, banned a movie, and ordered to pull NaMo TV off air. In the second phase on Thursday, Indians from 13 states will cast ballots across 95 parliamentary constituencies to choose from 1,644 candidates who will represent them until 2024. This excludes Vellore and Tripura East, where elections were cancelled and postponed, respectively.
Tamil Nadu will see all its constituencies go to polls on April 18, with the two national parties counting on their alliances with the regional partners. The Bharatiya Janata Party has tied up with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, while the Indian National Congress’ continued its alliance with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
Here are the key Lok Sabha seats going to polls across states:
- Amravati: Shiv Sena’s Anandrao Adsul, who is vying for a sixth term to the Lok Sabha, is pitted against South Indian actress-turned-politician Navneet Kaura Rana—fielded by the Yuva Swabhiman Party, an alliance partner of the Congress. The last Congress candidate to win in Amravati was Pratibha Patil in 1991, who went on to become President of India.
- Nanded: One of the holiest cities for the Sikhs, Nanded will see Maharashtra's former Chief Minister and Congress leader Ashok Chavan contest against the Pratap Chikhalikar, a Shiv Sena MLA fielded by its alliance partner BJP.
- Beed: BJP’s incumbent MP Pritam Munde will be fighting to keep her seat in this parched and agrarian crises-hit district. She won the by-election in 2014 with the highest margin of votes recorded in the history of Indian elections. Munde will face Bajrang Sonawane, NCP’s district president.
- Mathura: One of the famous Hindu pilgrimage destinations, the BJP’s actress-turned-politician Hema Malini is seeking a second term. Her opponents include Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Anrendra Singh and the Congress’ Mahesh Pathak. The Congress has put up a Brahmin candidate with the hope of eating into the BJP’s upper caste vote base.
- Aligarh: Satish Gautam, the BJP’s sitting MP, was in the news in 2018 for a row over his demand that the Aligarh Muslim University remove a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a rally in Aligarh on April 14 to garner support for Gautam. He faces Ajit Balyan, who hopes to repeat the BSP’s 2009 success. The Congress candidate Brijender Singh won the Aligarh seat in 2004. The seat was a BJP stronghold from 1991 to 2004 when it was represented four times by Sheela Foam Ltd. founder Sheela Gautam.
- Fatehpur Sikhri: The erstwhile Mughal capital will see a fight between Congress’ actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar, BJP’s Rajkumar Chahar, and BSP’s Shribhagwan Sharma. Babbar lost the 2014 election as a Congress contender but had been elected on an SP ticket. Sharma shifted from the SP to the BSP in 2017.
The state goes to polls without their stalwarts J Jayalalitha of the AIADMK and DMK founder K Karunanidhi.
- Tuticorin: A Rajya Sabha member since 2007, DMK’s Kanimozhi will test her fortunes against the BJP’s Tamil Nadu president Tamilisai Soundararajan.
- Dharmapuri: Pattali Makkal Katchi’s sitting MP Anbumani Ramadoss will fight against DMK’s Senthil Kumar and AMMK’s P Pallaniappan. Ramadoss is PMK founder’s son.
- Sivaganga : Congress candidate and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti will battle it out against AIADMK’s H Raja after a failed attempt in 2014. P Chidamabram had held this seat for seven terms until Karti’s loss to AIADMK in 2014.
- Karur: The incumbent deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha and AIADMK’s choice for this seat— M Thambi Durai— will fight Congress’ S Jothimani, who lost the seat in 2014.
- Chennai South: AIADMK’s J Jayavardhan is seeking a re-election. BSP’s R Kumar and DMK’s Thamizhachi Thangapandian are the challengers. Jayavardhan was the the youngest person to be elected to the Lok Sabha, at the age of 26.
- Bangalore South: BJP’s 28-year-old parliament hopeful Tejasvi Surya was a surprise choice for many as he seeks to make his debut. Surya is the general secretary of the states’ BJP Youth Wing. He faces Congress’ BK Hariprasad, an MP from the upper house.
- Bangalore North: Two Gowdas, although unrelated, are eyeing this constituency. India’s Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation and BJP leader DV Sadananda Gowda is seeking re-election. His competitor is Congress’ Krishna Byre Gowda.
- Chikkaballapur: In a repeat of 2009, Congress’ sitting MP Veerappa Moily will compete against BJP’s BN Bache Gowda.
- Udupi Chikmagalur: BJP’s Shobha Karandlaje seeks re-election from the seat, hoping to beat Pramod Madhwaraj who joined the JD(S) as a last-minute switch from the Congress in a hope to get a ticket.
Jammu & Kashmir
- Srinagar: The state’s former chief minister and chairman of the J&K National Conference, Farooq Abdullah, will contest against former-journalist and BJP spokesperson Sheikh Khalid Jehangir, and Peoples Democratic Party’s Agha Syed Mohsin.
- Raiganj: CPI-M’s Mohammad Salim, an incumbent MP from this seat, will be pitted against Congress’ Deepa Dasmunshi. Dasmunshi had lost to Salim in 2014. The BJP, which is seen to be on the rise in West Bengal, has given the ticket to its state unit general secretary Deboshree Chowdhury, who had contested the 2014 polls from Bardhaman–Durgapur. Also in the fray is All India Trinamool Congress’ Kanhaiyalal Agarwal.
- Darjeeling: In the hilly constituency, BJP’s Raju Bista is pitted against TMC’s MLA Amar Singh Rai. Bista has had links with the RSS for over 20 years.
- Silchar: Amid the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the contest in Silchar is between Congress’ current MP Sushmita Dev and BJP’s Rajdeep Roy.
The National Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms analysed self-sworn affidavits of 1,590 candidates of the total 1,644. Here’s a breakup:
- National parties: 209
- State parties: 107
- Registered unrecognised parties: 386
- Independents: 888
Sixteen percent or 251 candidates have been accused of attempt to murder, crimes against women, and hate speeches, among others. In this phase, 11 percent of the candidates face serious criminal charges entailing a punishment of at least five years. These include kidnapping, murder, rape, and offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
- Over 30 percent of candidates fielded by the Indian National Congress are history-sheeters with serious criminal charges, while nearly half the candidates fielded by their ally in Tamil Nadu—DMK— are criminals.
- One of the 11 candidates fielded by BJP’s Maharashtra ally Shiv Sena is faces serious criminal charges.
Tamil Nadu’s ‘Red Alert’
Constituencies with three or more candidates with declared criminal cases against them are in the ‘red alert’ category.
- This phase has 41 such constituencies, including 17 in Tamil Nadu.
- Bihar’s Banka and Maharashtra’s Beed has eight candidates each with history of crime.
- Only one out of the five constituencies in Odisha going to polls on Thursday falls in the ‘red alert’ category; while none in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Manipur, and Tripura fall in this category.
Also read: Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Guide To Phase 1
Each candidate in this phase holds average assets of Rs 3.90 crore compared with Rs 6.63 crore in the first phase, according to ADR’s survey.
- There are 25 parties in this phase whose contesting members are all crorepatis.
- Tamil Nadu’s Vasanthakumar H emerged as the richest candidate with a self-declared income of Rs 28 crore and assets worth Rs 417 crore.
- While the BJP has 88 percent crorepati candidates, all the candidates fielded by its ally AIADMK are crorepatis.
- Twenty-seven percent of the candidates have assets worth Rs 1 crore or more.
- This phase will also see 16 ‘zero assets’ candidates going into polls. Of these, nine are from Maharashtra and three are from Tamil Nadu.
- The average assets of the Congress party’s Lok Sabha aspirants are nearly 10 times the average for each candidate in this phase.
Over half the candidates have not filed income-tax returns or are exempted from the filing.
- There are 41 candidates who have an income of over Rs 1 crore and have filed their tax returns.
- 52 candidates with an income of more than Rs 1 core have not declared their tax returns.
- Among all the parties contesting in this phase, candidates of 69 have not filed income tax returns.
- Despite an income of Rs 18 crore, West Bengal’s independent candidate Binoy Kumar Das has not filed his tax returns.
- Of all the candidates fielded in the first phase, 44 percent, or 756 aspirants, have educational qualification between Class 5 and Class 12, while nearly half of them have completed their graduation, the survey showed.
- 26 candidates were illiterate— a third of those in phase I—while 35 candidates were just educated enough to be deemed literate.
- This election, more than half the political aspirants are between the age of 41 and 60. One-thirds of the candidates in this phase are aged between 25 and 40, while seven candidates are octogenarians.
- Only 8 percent of the total candidates fielded in this phase are women, not much better than the previous phase’s 7 percent.