The stage is now set for the first substantial round of polling in the Lok Sabha elections tomorrow involving nearly 11 crore voters in 92 seats spread across 11 states, including Delhi and the national capital region and the riot-hit Muzaffarnagar.
This will be the third round in the nine-phased elections which began on April 7 and will conclude on May 12. Tomorrow's round will also cover three Union Territories.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meria Kumar, seven union ministers including Kapil Sibal, Kamal Nath, Shashi Tharoor (all of Congress), Ajit Singh of RLD and former army chief V K Singh and Harsh Vardhan (both BJP) are the key nominees among the 1418 candidates in the fray in tomorrow's round.
Ten of the 80 constituencies in politically key Uttar Pradesh will go to polls tomorrow and they include communally-sensitive and riot-hit Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Kairana, Aligarh, Bijnor, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Gautambudh Nagar and Bulandshahar.
With Narendra Modi aide Amit Shah's controversial "revenge" remarks in Muzaffarnagar having stirred a controversy, significance in attached to polling in these ten constituencies.
Prominent among those contesting in this phase are Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh pitted against former Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh (BJP) in Baghpat, recent RLD entrant actress-politician Jaya Prada (Bijnor), film stars Nagma (Meerut) and Raj Babbar (Ghaziabad-both Cong), AAP's Shazia Ilmi and former Army chief and BJP's V K Singh in Ghaziabad, and riot accused Kadir Rana (BSP) in Muzaffarnagar.
Seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi will go to polls in which an estimated 1.27 crore voters will decide the fate of a total of 150 candidates including Congress' minister Kapil Sibal, former minister Ajay Maken, Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan, former DPCC chief J P Agarwal and Sandeep Dikshit, son of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi and Bhojpuri singer Manoj Tiwari.