Meerut polling
Meerut: A polling official administering indelible ink to a voter, at a polling booth, during the 2nd Phase of General Elections-2024 at Ucch Prathmik Vidyalaya, Meerut, in Uttar Pradesh on April 26, 2024.(IANS/PIB)IANS

Polling has begun for the fifth phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh where 14 Lok Sabha constituencies are going to polls on Monday.

The 14 constituencies that will vote in the fifth phase are Mohanlalganj (SC), Lucknow, Raebareli, Amethi, Jalaun (SC), Jhansi, Hamirpur, Banda, Fatehpur, Kaushambi (SC), Barabanki (SC), Faizabad, Kaiserganj and Gonda.

In all, there are 144 candidates in these 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh. The political heavyweights whose fate will be decided in this phase, include Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is contesting from Lucknow, Union Minister Smriti Irani who is seeking a re-election from Amethi, and Rahul Gandhi who is in the fray from Raebareli.

Rae Bareli: Congress Leaders Rahul Gandhi And Priyanka Gandhi Vadra During A Public Meeting For The Lok Sabha Elections
Rae Bareli: Congress Leaders Rahul Gandhi And Priyanka Gandhi Vadra During A Public Meeting For The Lok Sabha ElectionsIANS

Union Ministers Kaushal Kishore (Mohanlalganj), Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Fatehpur), and Bhanu Pratap Verma (Jalaun) are also seeking re-election in this polling phase.

Former Union Minister Pradeep Jain Aditya is the Congress candidate in Jhansi and former State Samajwadi Party (SP) President Naresh Uttam Patel is his party's nominee in Fatehpur.

Among political heirs, six-time MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's son Karan Bhushan Singh is the BJP candidate in Kaiserganj as the party dropped the father after women wrestlers accused him of sexual harassment.

Tanuj Punia, the son of Congress leader P.L. Punia, is contesting from Barabanki, while Shreya Verma, the granddaughter of veteran SP leader, the late Beni Prasad Verma, is in the fray from Gonda. Pushpendra Saroj, the son of SP leader Indrajit Saroj, is contesting from Kaushambi on the SP ticket.

The BJP has fielded 11 of its sitting Lok Sabha MPs in this phase, while it has fielded new candidates in Barabanki (SC) and Kaiserganj. The SP is contesting 10 seats and its INDIA bloc ally -- the Congress four. Going solo, the Bahujan Samaj Party has fielded candidates on all 14 seats, setting the pitch for a triangular contest.

Polling for a bypoll has also begun in the Lucknow East Assembly constituency. The seat was declared vacant following the demise of former Uttar Pradesh Minister Ashutosh Tandon Gopalji. 

(With inputs from IANS)