Lok Sabha elections 2019 – 3rd Phase: Muslims to matter in 30 seats today

New Delhi: Out of the 115 Lok Sabha seats going to polls in the third phase, over 30 constituencies spread across Assam, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal have substantial Muslim population while Christians have a large population in the two seats of Goa and several Kerala constituencies.

For instance, Maharashtra will see polling in Jalna and Aurangabad where Muslim voters are more than 20 percent each. In the 10 seats going to polls in Uttar Pradesh, seven seats have a large Muslim population of over 20 per cent — Moradabad, Rampur, Sambhal, Badaun, Aonia, Bareilly and Pilibhit.

The highest concentration of Muslims is in Assam’s Dhubri (67.4 per cent) and Malappuram (68 per cent) in Kerala. Assam’s Barpeta has Muslim population of 52 per cent, Gauhati has 25 per cent and Kokrajhar 21 per cent — all these seats will see polling on Tuesday. In Bihar, two out of five seats going to polls have Muslim population — Araria (41 per cent) and Supaul (18 per cent).

Two seats of Gujarat — Kachh and Bharuch — also have Muslim population of 21 per cent each. In Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag (the only seat where elections are being held in three phases), 98 per cent of voters are Muslims.Karnataka’s Bidar (20 per cent) and Dharwad (19 per cent) also have a substantial Muslim population.

The fate of many top leaders will be sealed in the third phase. The leaders in the fray include Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad (Kerala) and BJP President Amit Shah in Gandhinagar (Gujarat). With this, more than half of the constituencies, or 305 to be exact, would have completed polling.

Others in the fray on Tuesday include Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh, Shivpal Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav, union minister Santosh Gangwar, Jaya Prada, Azam Khan and Varun Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh, BJP spokesman Sambit  Patra and BJD’s Pinaki Misra and K B Mehtab in Odisha, Sharad Yadav, Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu, Cong’s Ranjeet Ranjan and former union minister Devendra Prasad Yadav, in Bihar.

Fourteen seats in Maharashtra are also going to polls, the main constituencies being Pune, Kolhapur, Madha, Baramati, Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Jalna, Sangli, Satara and Ratnagiri.

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