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15 Indian states go to polls in third phase of Lok Sabha elections today

15 Indian states go to polls in third phase of Lok Sabha elections today

IANS
New Delhi
People in 15 states will vote on Tuesday in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections scheduled for Tuesday which will see a maximum of of 117 seats going to the polls in a single phase of seven-phased election.
Voting will be completed in all seats of Gujarat, Kerala, Goa, Karanataka, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu with the third phase polls.
The presidents of the two main political parties are in fray in the third phase with BJP chief Amit Shah making his Lok Sabha election debut from Gandhinagar and Congress President Rahul Gandhi contesting from Wayanad.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will aim to defend the 62 of the 117 third phase seats it won in 2014 and its performance in this phase will be crucial in deciding its political fortunes.
The Congress had won 16 seats, while the remaining seats were divided between BJD (6), CPI-M (7), NCP (4), Samajwadi Party (3), Shiv Sena (2), RJD (2), AIUDF (2), IUML (2), LJP (1), PDP (1), RSP (1), Kerala Congress-M (1), CPI (1), Swabhimani Paksha (1) and Trinamool Congress (1). Three seats were won by Independent candidates.
This time the BJP will be tested in its bastion Gujarat -- where polling will be held for all the 26 Lok Sabha seats -- apart from Karanataka, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh, where the party had done well in 2014.
In 2014, the BJP won all the 26 seats in Gujarat, 11 of 14 in Karnataka, 8 of 10 in Uttar Pradesh, 6 of 7 in Chhattisgarh, 6 of 14 in Maharashtra, both the seats in Goa and one seat each in Assam, Bihar, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
Gujarat being the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP would again look for a clean sweep in the state. However, the Congress, which gave a tough fight to the BJP in the Assembly polls held in 2017, is hoping to win 10 to 15 seats this time.
The three young Gujarat leaders -- Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mewani -- whose positions had helped the Congress build a narrative against the BJP during the Assembly elections, are not in the fray for the Lok Sabha polls.
Patidar agitation leader Patel, who joined the Congress last month, cannot contest due to his conviction in a rioting case, while Thakor quit the Congress earlier this month.

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