NEW DELHI, May 11 - The fate of several Union ministers, including Radha Mohan Singh, Harshvardhan and Maneka Gandhi, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress leaders Digvijay Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia, will be decided on Sunday in the sixth and penultimate phase of Lok Sabha polls to be held in 59 constituencies in six States and Delhi.
Elections will be held in 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 10 seats in Haryana, eight constituencies each in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, seven seats in Delhi and four in Jharkhand.
Over 10.17 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise to choose among the 979 candidates in fray. The Election Commission has set up over 1.13 lakh polling stations for smooth conduct of polls.
The elections in this phase are seen as a big test for the BJP, which had won 45 of these seats in 2014, with the Trinamool Congress bagging eight, the Congress two and the Samajwadi Party and the LJP one seat each among others.
In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP had won 13 of the 14 constituencies in 2014, the only exception being Azamgarh, won then by SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav. In Azamgarh this time, Akhilesh is trying to retain his father�s seat against Bhojpuri film star Dinesh Lal Yadav �Nirahua� of the BJP.
The BJP had to face defeat in the bypolls in Phulpur and Gorakhpur constituencies last year. While, the anti-BJP alliance would like to retain its grip over both the seats, the saffron party is looking to wrest them from the Opposition.
Sultanpur too is seeing an interesting contest as the BJP has fielded Union minister Maneka Gandhi for the seat won by her son Varun in 2014. The seat appears tricky for Maneka as BJP strategists are relying on a division of Congress and gathbandhan votes.
The Bhopal seat in Madhya Pradesh will see an interesting fight between senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh and BJP nominee Pragya Singh Thakur, while Guna will seal the fate of AICC general secretary and Congress candidate Scindia. Union minister and BJP nominee Narendra Singh Tomar is in the fray from Morena.
In the National Capital, voting will be held in all the seven seats. As many as 164 candidates, including 18 women, are in the fray. It is expected to be three-cornered fight involving the BJP, AAP and the Congress. Prominent candidates in the fray include veteran Congress leader Sheila Dikshit, Olympian boxer Vijender Singh, Union minister Harsh Vardhan, Atishi from AAP and her BJP rival cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir.
Union ministers Rao Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar are among the 223 candidates in fray in Haryana. Former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, a sitting MLA of Congress from Rohtak district, is once again trying his luck to enter the lower House, this time from Sonipat.
The ruling Trinamool Congress, the BJP, the Congress and the Left Front constituents � the CPI(M), the CPI and the AIFB � are the main contenders in West Bengal. In this phase, polling will be held in Jangal Mahal � the forested region of Bankura, West Midnapore, Jhargram and Purulia districts, which used to be a Maoist hotbed, during the erstwhile Left Front government. � PTI