India Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 6: Who Votes and What’s at Stake?

Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 6: Poll on 25th May 2024

India’s Lok Sabha elections 2024 are well underway, moving towards their penultimate phase. On May 25, voters from eight states and union territories will head to the polls to elect 58 Members of Parliament (MPs) in the sixth phase of this staggered election. With the future of 889 candidates hanging in the balance, this phase is crucial for both the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA).

Lok Sabha Election 2024 at a Glance

India’s Lok Sabha elections are known for their complexity and scale, conducted in multiple phases to ensure comprehensive coverage across the diverse and populous nation. The first five phases, held on April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13, and May 20, witnessed voter turnouts ranging from 60.5% to 67.3%. These phases have already sealed the fate of 429 MPs, setting the stage for a highly competitive final stretch.

Who is Voting in the Sixth Phase?

In the sixth phase, registered voters from the following regions will cast their ballots:

Haryana: All 10 constituencies

Jharkhand: 4 of the 14 constituencies

Odisha: 6 of the 21 constituencies

Uttar Pradesh: 14 of the 80 constituencies

Bihar: 8 of the 40 constituencies

West Bengal: 8 of the 42 constituencies

Delhi: All 7 constituencies

Jammu and Kashmir: Anantnag-Rajouri constituency

This diverse mix highlights the varied political landscapes and key issues that will influence voter decisions in these regions.

Key Constituencies

New Delhi and North East Delhi

The political battle in Delhi is fierce, with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) aiming to wrest control from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Prominent figures like Kanhaiya Kumar, challenging Manoj Tiwari in North East Delhi, and Bansuri Swaraj, contesting in New Delhi, make these constituencies critical battlegrounds.

Haryana: Kurukshetra, Gurgaon, and Karnal

Haryana, a predominantly agricultural state, witnessed significant political shifts following the 2021 farmers’ protests. High-profile candidates like industrialist Naveen Jindal in Kurukshetra and former Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Karnal are central to this phase.

Jammu and Kashmir: Anantnag-Rajouri

In Jammu and Kashmir, former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is a key contender from Anantnag-Rajouri, making this a high-stakes constituency given the region’s unique political dynamics.

Uttar Pradesh: Azamgarh and Sultanpur

Azamgarh, represented by Bhojpuri actor Dinesh Lal Yadav in 2019, sees a strong challenge from the Samajwadi Party’s Dharmendra Yadav. This constituency, along with Sultanpur, is pivotal for Uttar Pradesh’s political landscape.

West Bengal: Tamluk

In Tamluk, Abhijit Gangopadhyay of the BJP is contesting against Debangshu Bhattacharya of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), highlighting the intense competition in West Bengal.

Election 2024

Notable Candidates and Their Battles

Kanhaiya Kumar vs. Manoj Tiwari

Kanhaiya Kumar, a vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is taking on Manoj Tiwari, a popular Bhojpuri actor and two-time MP. This contest in North East Delhi is a microcosm of the broader ideological battle in Indian politics.

Dharmendra Pradhan in Odisha

Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan seeks to make his mark from Sambalpur in Odisha, a state where the BJP is looking to expand its influence.

Bansuri Swaraj in New Delhi

Bansuri Swaraj, daughter of the late Sushma Swaraj, is running in New Delhi, aiming to uphold her mother’s political legacy against AAP’s Somnath Bharti.

Political Context and Key Issues

Economic Distress and Employment

The opposition INDIA alliance has focused on economic distress and the lack of job opportunities as key campaign issues. They argue that the BJP’s policies have exacerbated economic inequalities and failed to generate sufficient employment.

Farmer’s Agitation

The 2021 farmers’ protests have significantly impacted political dynamics, especially in agricultural states like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The Modi government faced criticism for policies perceived to favor corporate interests over farmers.

Corruption Allegations

Corruption remains a hot-button issue, with several opposition leaders, including AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal, alleging that the BJP uses investigative agencies to target political rivals.

Impact of Regional Parties

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)

AAP’s influence in Delhi is formidable, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal leading a vocal campaign against the BJP. Their alliance with Congress aims to consolidate votes against the ruling party.

Biju Janata Dal (BJD)

In Odisha, the BJD, aligned with the NDA, holds significant sway. Their performance in this phase will be crucial for the NDA’s overall tally.

Trinamool Congress (TMC)

The TMC, a key player in West Bengal, has consistently challenged the BJP’s advances in the state. Their role in the INDIA alliance adds another layer of complexity to the elections.

What’s at Stake?

Implications for the Ruling National Democratic Alliance

The sixth phase is critical for the BJP-led NDA to maintain its electoral dominance. Success here could solidify their position going into the final phase and the eventual counting of votes.

Strategies of the Opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance

The INDIA alliance aims to leverage economic grievances and regional discontent to make significant inroads. Their success in this phase could shift the momentum in their favor.

Voter Turnout and Engagement

Historical voter turnout has been robust, reflecting a high level of engagement. Factors such as local issues, candidate profiles, and campaign strategies will influence turnout in the sixth phase.

Voting Procedure: Lok Sabha Election 2024

Polling Times and Process

Voting will begin at 7am and end at 6pm. Those in line by closing time will be allowed to vote, ensuring maximum participation.

Security Measures and Logistics

Adequate security and logistical arrangements are in place to ensure a smooth voting process, with special attention to sensitive constituencies.

Governance in Participating States

Current Ruling Parties

Uttar Pradesh and Haryana: Governed by the BJP.

Bihar: Governed by a BJP alliance.

Odisha: Governed by BJD.

Jharkhand: Governed by the INDIA alliance.

West Bengal: Governed by TMC.

Delhi: Governed by AAP.

Jammu and Kashmir: Governed directly by the central government.

Public perception of these governments will play a significant role in voter decisions.

Outcome Predictions

Current trends and expert analyses suggest a closely contested phase. While the BJP aims to retain its stronghold, the opposition is making aggressive efforts to challenge this dominance.

Future Implications

The outcome of the sixth phase will set the stage for the final phase of the elections on June 1. It will also provide insights into the broader electoral landscape and potential shifts in political power.

Conclusion

The sixth phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections is pivotal, with significant implications for both the ruling NDA and the opposition INDIA alliance. As voters from diverse regions head to the polls, the stakes are incredibly high, setting the tone for the final phase and the future of Indian politics.

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