Lok Sabha polls 2014: Voting begins for first phase
The first phase of polling for biggest election in the world, to elect 543 members to the Lok Sabha, starts today with voting to be held in five constituencies in Assam and two in Tripura.
The voting for the new Lok Sabha will be held in nine phases over the next 36 days. The counting will take place on May 16. A total of 81.4 crore people are eligible to vote this year. The voting will take place at 930,000 polling stations across the country.
This time the Lok Sabha polls are more focused on individual leaders like Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
The unconventional Aam Aadmi Party led by activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal is also in the fray as the party has fielded more than 400 candidates across the country.
There are several powerful regional leaders like J Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu and Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati in Uttar Preadesh, who are also expected to win handsome number of seats. Opinion polls have shown that these leaders will play an important role in the formation of new government at the Centre.
It is said that the party which will do well in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar will hold all the aces in the new government. The two states account for a total of 120 seats with UP having 80 seats and Bihar 40. Some other states like Maharashtra, Bengal and Tamil Nadu will also play an important role in the elections.
The BJP is confident of winning the elections as the party believes that the voters have made up their mind to vote for Modi, who is highlighted by the party as a man who can lead the country on the path of development. The Congress, which was in power for the last decade, is highly unlikely to return to power once again.