Key seats locked in Indian polls

Published May 21, 2024
Voters queue up to cast their ballots at a polling station during the fifth phase of voting in India’s general election, in Ayodhya on May 20, 2024. India’s election is conducted in seven phases over six weeks to ease the immense logistical burden of staging the democratic exercise in the world’s most populous country. — AFP
Voters queue up to cast their ballots at a polling station during the fifth phase of voting in India’s general election, in Ayodhya on May 20, 2024. India’s election is conducted in seven phases over six weeks to ease the immense logistical burden of staging the democratic exercise in the world’s most populous country. — AFP

NEW DELHI: The fifth phase of Indian elections on Monday saw the seats of Rahul Gandhi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh locked in, with analysts viewing it as an uphill moment for the BJP.

The fifth phase of voting in the seven-phase polls concluded in 49 seats across eight states, including Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Ladakh, and held Jammu and Kashmir.

According to political analyst Yogendra Yadav, the buzz in the latest phase is not just because it contains a few of the most prestigious contests, but also that the BJP can suffer serious reverses in a few of the eight states where voting was held.

This phase includes politically prestigious and important constituencies such as Rae Bareli, Amethi, and Faizabad (Ayodhya) in Uttar Pradesh; Saran (formerly Chhapra) and Hajipur in Bihar; and all six seats of India’s financial capital, Mumbai.

Just like Phase 3, in this round too, the Modi alliance stands to lose ground due to the sheer number of seats it had won the last time — 39 of the 49 seats, of which the BJP alone had won 32.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2024

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