The polling will be held in a single-phase in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry while Assam will witness its third and final round of voting on Tuesday. In Bengal, this will be the third round in the eight-phase elections ending April 29.
The counting for all will take place on May 2.
Here’s all you need to know about tomorrow’s electoral contest:
A three-cornered battle is on the cards in 31 assembly seats — 16 in South 24 Parganas (part II), seven in Howrah (part I) and eight in Hooghly (part I) — that are set to go to polls on Tuesday in the third phase.
The polling follows a heated showdown of the second phase on April 1, which was dominated by the high-profile contest between chief minister Mamata Banerjee and BJP rival Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram.
On April 6, the BJP will seek to breach TMC fortresses while the Left Front-ISF-Congress alliance would hope to make a mark in areas where identity politics has gained ground.
More than 78.5 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise and decide the fate of 205 candidates — prominent among them being BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, TMC minister Ashima Patra and CPM leader Kanti Ganguly.
Tight security arrangements have been made to ensure peaceful voting, with 618 companies of CAPF deployed to guard 10,871 polling stations, all of which have been marked “sensitive” by the Election Commission. State police forces will also be deputed at strategic locations to aid the CAPF.
The TMC had won all but one seat of the 31 segments in the 2016 assembly elections. The Congress had managed to bag Amta constituency in Howrah district.
The saffron party, however, left the Left and the Congress behind to emerge as the main contender of the Mamata Banerjee-led party after the 2019 general election.
The Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency, held by political heavyweight and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, will be closely watched, as four of its seven assembly segments will go to polls in the third phase, and the rest will follow suit in the fourth phase on April 10.
The Indian Secular Front (ISF), floated by Peerzada Abbas Siddiqui, has turned out to be a cause of concern for the TMC, as the outfit holds sway in several parts of South 24 Parganas and Hooghly districts.
TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, having sensed the ISF’s potential to eat into her party’s minority vote base, had been hitting out at Siddiqui, alleging that he has been propped up by the BJP, a charge vehemently denied by the cleric, who is taking on the ruling party with gusto.
Adding to the ruling camp’s woes, the BJP has fielded sitting MLA and TMC turncoat Dipak Halder, who wields considerable influence in the area.
After an intense poll campaign which saw the two main political parties – the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK – taking each other head on, all eyes are now on the voters as Tamil Nadu gears up for the single-phase polls on April 6.
MK Stalin-led DMK, which is out of power since 2011 in the state, is in a head-to-head battle with ruling party AIADMK led by chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in nearly 130 constituencies.
The AIADMK launched scathing attacks against the DMK for practising dynastic politics. On the other side, Stalin has called the AIADMK government a slave to the BJP and made allegations of corruption during its tenure.
Stalin had alleged that the AIADMK government had taken Tamil Nadu back 50 years.
In Tamil Nadu, the people have traditionally seen the DMK and the AIADMK hold power alternately since 1967.
However, AIADMK emerged victorious in the last two assembly elections.
This is also the first assembly elections being held without two veterans of Tamil Nadu politics – M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa.
Ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is contesting the poll in a pre-poll alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Paattali Makkal Katchi (PMK).
PMK and BJP are contesting in 23 and 20 constituencies respectively in the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly while the AIADMK has fielded its candidates for the rest of the seats.
The DMK has allotted 25 seats to its Congress party, and six each for CPI, CPM, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and Vaiko’s Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK).
Besides AIADMK and DMK, actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) and the alliance between TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) and Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) are also looking to emerge as a formidable political force.
Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami is contesting from Edappadi seat in Salem district. DMK has fielded a debutant 37-year-old T Sampath Kumar against him.
Stalin is trying his luck again from Kolathur seat. He will face AIADMK’s Adhi Rajaram in Kolathur. Stalin contested here twice in 2011 and 2016 and has emerged victorious on both occasions.
Deputy chief minister and AIADMK’s coordinator O Panneerselvam is in the fray from Bodinayakkanur. DMK has pitted Thanga Tamilselvan against him.
DMK chief MK Stalin’s son and party’s youth-wing secretary, Udhayanidhi Stalin is making his electoral debut. He is contesting from Chennai’s Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni constituency and will face Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) candidate AVA Kasali.
Actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam leader Kamal Haasan will be making his electoral debut from Coimbatore (South). Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar is contesting for the seventh time from Royapuram seat. He secured the seat five times. DMK has nominated businessman Murthy against him.
A total of 3,998 candidates are in the fray in the state.
Kerala is all set to witness a high-profile battle between the ruling LDF and the opposition UDF as all 140 seats will go to polls on April 6.
Since the 1980s, the LDF and UDF have alternatively formed the government with neither able to gain back-to-back victories in Kerala.
If the ruling front can manage to buck the trend in the state this time, it will be history. If not, then the Left rule will become history as Kerala is the last Red bastion in the country.
The run up to the election witnessed stormy campaign sessions, marathon rallies and mammoth road shows.
As many as 2.74 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 957 candidates including high-profile leaders and independents.
As the high-octane public campaign drew to a close last night, the southern state is now witnessing silent electioneering in which candidates and party workers are busy visiting homes and institutions to seek votes at the last minute.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, health minister K K Shailaja, Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran, power minister M M Mani and higher education minister K K Jaleel are among the prominent personalities trying their electoral luck from the ruling side.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, former chief minister Oommen Chandy, senior leaders K Muraleedharan, P T Thomas and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan are among those contesting from the UDF fold.
The election is crucial for an array of BJP leaders including former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan, ‘Metroman’ E Sreedharan, who joined the saffron party recently, state president K Surendran, senior leader Shobha Surendran, Rajya Sabha members Suresh Gopi and K J Alphons and others.
The April 6 poll is equally significant for Kerala Congress (M) chief Jose K Mani who recently snapped decades-long ties with the UDF and joined hands with the Left front.
It would be a litmus test especially for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi personally as he had camped in the state for several days and taken part in dozens of corner meetings and rallies across Kerala to campaign for the UDF.
Since the Election Commission announced the poll dates on February 26, Kerala had been witnessing unprecedented competitive spirit between all the three political fronts.
The release of the election manifesto also drew much attention this time as the three fronts came out with populist promises including pension for housewives, raising of welfare pensions, free gas cylinders for poor, free laptops for economically backward students and so on.
To consolidate votes of majority community and keep devotees with them, the BJP even promised in their manifesto a law to contain alleged ‘love jihad’ and even a state legislation to protect the customs and traditions of the Sabarimala temple.
The topics of faith, religion, development and welfare have taken a centre-stage throughout the campaigns.
Assam will witness the final leg of its three-phased elections on Tuesday.
This phase will decide the fate of 337 candidates across 40 constituencies of 12 districts in the state, including the senior minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma in the Jalukbari constituency.
Apart from Sarma, BJP minister Chandra Mohan Patowary from Dharampur, education minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya from Gauhati East, and BJP state chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass from Patacharkuchi are also in the fray in the final phase.
Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) candidate Phanibhushan Choudhary from Bongaigaon, Bodoland People’s Front’s (BPF) Pramila Rani Brahma from Kokrajhar-East, Chandan Brahma from Sidli, and independent candidate and Lok Sabha MP Naba Hira Kumar Sarania from Barama are also in the fray.
The fate of sitting Congress MLA Rekibuddin Ahmed, former AGP MLA from Chaygaon Kamala Kalita, and Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) working president Pabindra Deka, who is contesting from Pathacharkuchi, will also be decided in this phase.
Kokrajhar’s Lok Sabha MP Naba Kumar Sarania, who is contending from Barama as an Independent candidate, is also contesting in the final phase.
This year, the main contest is between the alliances led by the BJP and Congress.
The BJP-led alliance includes the AGP and United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL).
The Congress has stitched a broad alliance called the Mahajath, which includes Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), CPI, CPM, CPI(ML), Anchalik Gana Marcha (AGM) and the Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF).
Jailed activist Akhil Gogoi’s Raijor Dal has stitched an alliance with Assam Jatiya Parishad.
The BJP is banking on the performance of the Sarbanand Sonowal government in the state in the past five years, the initiatives of the central government, and the appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
One of the major issues in the campaign run-up was Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) with the state BJP chief saying that the party will soon implement CAA. However, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi maintained that they will not let the CAA be implemented in the state.
As many as 320 Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) coys have been deployed in the third phase in order to ensure a free and fair election.
The election in the 30-member assembly will witness a keen contest between the Congress-led Secular Democratic alliance and the AINRC-led NDA.
A total of 10,04,507 electors will exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 324 candidates.
The chief contestants are AINRC founder leader N Rangasamy seeking election from Thattanchavady in Puducherry and the lone seat in Yanam an enclave of Puducherry in Andhra Pradesh.
He has no strong adversary in the hustings in Yanam, poll observers said.
Former chief minister V Narayanasamy, who headed the Congress government since 2016, has opted out of the poll battle.
The PCC president A V Subramanian is seeking election from his home town of Karaikal (north).
The AIADMK convenors A Anbalagan and Om Sakthi Segar are testing their luck in Uppalam and Orleanpet segments respectively. Anbalagan has been holding the Uppalam constituency consecutively since 2001.
Om Sakthi Segar who was elected to the assembly on two occasions in the past from Nellithope has now moved to Orleanth which is a new turf for him.
Four former ministers M O H F Shah Jahan, M Kandasamy and R Kamalakannan are contesting from Kamaraj Nagar, Embalam (reserved) and Tirunallar respectively.
Shahjahan had been contesting from Kalapet segment all along but now he is fielded by the Congress in Kamaraj Nagar and he is pitted against the BJP candidate A John Kumar.
The election witnesses John Kumar and his son Richards fighting the poll on BJP ticket.
Richards is contesting from Nellithope constituency.
The AINRC is seeking election from 16 seats after sharing the remaining 14 seats with BJP (nine) and AIADMK (four).
Similarly, the Congress is contesting in 14 seats and supporting an Independent in Yanam while its allies the DMK is seeking election from 13 seats.
The Union Territory is presently under President’s rule after the Congress-led alliance lost the floor test in the assembly earlier this year.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI)