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Nomination process for first phase of Lok Sabha polls begins

New Delhi: The nomination process for 102 parliamentary constituencies spread across 21 states and Union territories, where polling would be held in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections on April 19, began Wednesday with the issuance of a notification.

In the first phase, polling will be held in Arunachal Pradesh (2 seats), Assam (5), Bihar (4), Chhattisgarh (1), Madhya Pradesh (6), Maharashtra (5), Manipur (2), Meghalaya (2), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Rajasthan (12), Sikkim (1), Tamil Nadu (39), Tripura (1), Uttar Pradesh (8), Uttarakhand (5), West Bengal (3), Andaman and Nicobar (1), Jammu and Kashmir (1), Lakshadweep (1) and Puducherry (1).

The last date for filing nomination papers is March 27. However, due to a festival, March 28 is the last date for filing nominations for the Lok Sabha seats in Bihar going to polls in the first phase. Voting in four out of 40 seats in Bihar will be held in the first phase.

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Nomination papers will be scrutinised on March 28. For Bihar, it would be done on March 30.

The last date for withdrawal of candidature is March 20 while for Bihar, it is April 2.

The elections for the 18th Lok Sabha will begin on April 19 followed by subsequent phases on April 26, May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1. The counting of votes is on June 4.

In Itanagar, the state election office issued separate gazette notifications for holding elections to 60 assembly constituencies and two Lok Sabha seats in Arunachal Pradesh.

The ruling BJP won both Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 elections. In the assembly, the BJP bagged 41 seats, JD(U) won seven seats, the NPP won five seats, the Congress secured four seats, the PPA won one seat and two Independent candidates also won.

The BJP has declared candidates for all the assembly seats, and named Union minister Kiren Rijiju for the Arunachal West Lok Sabha seat and Tapir Gao as its candidate for the Arunachal East seat.

In the first phase in Assam, Kaziranga, Sonitpur, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur will go to the polls on April 19.

The prominent candidates in the fray for the first phase are Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal from Dibrugarh against the United Opposition Front of Assam’s Lurinjyoti Gogoi, Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi against sitting BJP MP Topon Gogoi from Jorhat and BJP Rajya Sabha member Kamakhya Prasad Tasa against former Congress MLA Roselina Tirkey in Kaziranga.

In Puducherry, Returning Officer A Kulothungan issued the statutory notification for the the lone Lok Sabha seat in the Union territory.

The Udhampur-Kathua Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmir is one of 102 segments across the country going to polls in the first phase.

So far only BJP and Democratic Progressive Azad Party have announced their candidates for the seat. Sitting MP and Union minister Jitendra Singh and former minister G M Saroori are candidates of BJP and DPAP respectively.

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