SECOND phase of polling for the 15th general elections of India will be held on April 23, 2009. This phase would see polling in 13 states – Goa, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Orissa, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh – for 140 Lok Sabha seats.
Two of these states (Goa and Tripura which have two constituencies each) would see all their constituencies going to polls, that is, these states would be voting in a single phase which happens to be the second phase.
Andhra Pradesh (20 constituencies), Assam (11), Jharkhand (8) and Orissa (11) would go to the polls on the same day and would see the completion of polls in all their constituencies as parts of these states had already voted in the first phase.
Manipur (two constituencies) would also witness the completion of polls: Its first constituency had voted in the first phase; the other constituency of Manipur votes on April 22, 2009, a day ahead of the scheduled second phase of the elections.
The rest of the six states have polls scheduled across two or more phases and would witness polling not in all but in some of their constituencies. Karnataka (17 constituencies), Madhya Pradesh (13), Maharashtra (25), West Bengal (13), Jammu and Kashmir (1) and Uttar Pradesh (17) are those states that would witness a part of their total number of constituencies polling in the second phase. The total number of contesting candidates in the second phase is 2041.
Meanwhile, following the orders of the Election Commission of India, repolling was held at 46 polling stations spread across seven states where elections were disturbed due to various reasons during Phase I. The repolling was held in the period between the first and the second phases of polls. Twenty-nine polling stations in Andhra Pradesh, five in Assam, two in Kerala and one in Uttar Pradesh went for polls again. One polling booth in Jammu and Kashmir, five in Arunachal Pradesh and three in Nagaland also witnessed repolling.
Six states and two union territories (UTs) had seen the completion of polls in the first phase. The second phase would end with completion of polls in seven more states, thereby taking the final figures for states and UTs that would finish with polling to 13 and 2, respectively.
Particular trends had been noted in the general elections of 2004 in the seven states that would finish polling in the second phase. In Andhra Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had performed miserably. It had lost all the nine seats that it had contested though it had garnered 30,06,018 (8.41 per cent) of the total votes polled in the state.
The Indian National Congress (INC) had won 29 of the 34 seats it had contested getting 1,48,61,984 (41.56 per cent) of the total votes polled in the state. The Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI – M)) had won one seat each. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), one of the major regional parties in the state, had also fared miserably winning only five of the 33 seats it had contested.
In Assam too, the INC had performed better than the BJP in the general elections of 2004. The INC had won nine of the 14 seats it had contested by garnering 36,37,405 (35.07 per cent) of the total votes polled in the state, while the BJP had won just two of the 12 seats it had contested by grabbing 23,79,524 (22.94 per cent) of the total votes polled. The regional satrap Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) had won two of the 12 seats it had contested.
Of the two Lok Sabha seats in Goa, the BJP and the INC had won one seat each. While the BJP contesting in both the seats had grabbed 2,58,750 (46.83 per cent) of the total votes polled in the state, the INC had contested in one seat only and had won it by garnering 1,64,432 (29.76 per cent) of the votes polled in the state.
In Manipur, in 2004, the BJP had contested in both the seats, but had lost both though it was successful in getting 2,13,892 (20.65 per cent) of the votes polled in the state. The INC had won the lone seat it had contested by garnering 1,54,055 (14.88 per cent) of the votes polled in the state. The other seat in Manipur was won by an independent candidate, Mani Charenamai.
The INC had fared badly in Orissa in the general elections of 2004, in the face of stiff opposition from the coalition of the BJP and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD). The INC had contested all 21 seats to get a return of two seats only though it had garnered 68,45,738 (40.43 per cent) of the votes polled.
The BJP had contested in nine of the seats and won in seven, garnering a total of 32,68,296 (19.3 per cent) of the total votes polled in the state. The BJD had won 11 of the 12 seats it had contested by garnering 50,82,849 (30.02 per cent) of the votes polled in the state.
Tripura, the traditional bastion of the Left parties, had brought no seat for both the BJP and the INC in 2004. The BJP had contested in one seat and lost it though it had garnered 1,03,494 (7.82 per cent) of the total votes polled in the state. The INC had contested both the seats in the state but had garnered 1,89,134 (14.28 per cent) of the total votes polled. The CPI (M) had won both the seats by garnering 9,11,073 (68.8 per cent) of the votes polled in the state.
In Jharkhand, the BJP had won just one of the 14 seats it had contested and had garnered 30,90,365 (33.01 per cent) of the votes polled, while the INC had won six of the nine seats it had contested and had garnered 20,07,334 (21.44 per cent) of the total votes polled in the state. The CPI had won the single seat it had contested.
The regional satrap, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), had won four of the five seats it had contested garnering 15,23,976 (16.28 per cent) of the votes polled in the state, while the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had won both the seats that it had contested.
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