Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 1 Voting: BJP vs INDIA Bloc As India Votes In 1st Phase of Lok Sabha Polls: 10 Points

BJP vs INDIA Bloc As India Votes In 1st Phase Of Lok Sabha Polls: 10 Points

Indian General Election 2024 Phase 1: In 2019, the UPA won 45 of these 102 seats (Representational)

New Delhi:
Lok Sabha polls 2024 – billed by the BJP as a milestone to 2047 and the Opposition as a battle for democracy’s survival – begins today. In the first of the 7-phase exercise, voting will be held for 102 seats across 21 states and Union Territories.

Here are top 10 points on this big story:

  1. The first phase of polls will be held on all seats of Tamil Nadu (39), Rajasthan (12), Uttar Pradesh (8), Madhya Pradesh (6), Uttarakhand (5), Arunachal Pradesh (2), Meghalaya (2), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Puducherry (1), Sikkim (1) and Lakshadweep (1). Besides, there will be five seats each in Assam and Maharashtra, four in Bihar, three in West Bengal, two seats in Manipur, and one seat each in Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, and Chhattisgarh.

  2. Four states — Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh — will also pick new assemblies along with the Lok Sabha. Of these, Arunachal Pradesh (60 seats) and Sikkim (32) are first down today.

  3. Backed by a frenzied, hardcore campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, the BJP is aiming to win 370 of 543 Lok Sabha seats – a steep rise from its score of 2019. The Prime Minister has set the NDA a target of 400. In the last election, the NDA won 353 seats — up by 5 per cent from 2014. The BJP won 303 seats.

  4. The Opposition bloc INDIA, which mostly made headlines over its disarray in the run-up to the polls — especially with the defection of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar — has been standing together following the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor policy case. Even so, in multiple pockets, the parties are up against each other, flouting the rule of one-on-one contests they guaranteed would push the BJP out.

  5. The big violators are Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, which has entered its candidates against the Congress not just in Bengal but a few northeastern states as well. The other is Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party, which has done the same in Punjab and elsewhere, despite having a seat sharing agreement with the Congress in Delhi.

  6. The BJP is hoping to win 22 of the 25 seats in the northeast – an area it now dominates — sweep the huge swathe of the Hindi heartland, Jammu in the north and Gujarat in the west. In Bengal, it hoping to flourish at the cost of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and make further inroads in Odisha, even though the proposed alliance with Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal fell through.  

  7. In south — once a fortress against all northern parties except the Congress — the BJP is expecting to win big in Karnataka, which voted in a Congress government last year. With outreaches spearheaded by PM Modi, it is also hoping to make a dent in the Dravidian politics of Tamil Nadu. As insurance, it is piggybacking a handful of smaller parties, including PMK of S Ramadoss.  

  8. The Congress, pushed out of much of north India, insists it is on the cusp of a comeback. Senior leader KC Venugopal has said the party will post improved performance in most northern states – including the BJP bastions of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. With assembly poll victories in Telangana and Karnataka, and the alliance with DMK in Tamil Nadu, it projects huge confidence about the results in the south.

  9. Eight Union ministers, two former chief ministers, one former governor and a number of key leaders are in fray today, making for scintillating contests in more than 20 seats. Among them are Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Jitendra Singh, Kiren Rijiju, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Sanjiv Balian, former Telangana governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, Congress’s Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi and former Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal.  

  10. In 2019, the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) won 45 of these 102 seats and the NDA 41. Six of the seats have been redrawn as part of delimitation. The counting of votes will be held on June 4.

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